Demons win home invite team, individual titles
Monday at Ironbridge Golf Club, Glenwood Springs
1. Glenwood Springs 279, 2. Palisade 288; 3. Fruita Monument 294; 4. Gunnison 340; 5. Moffat County 348; 6. Grand Valley NS.
INDIVIDUALS (TOP 15)
1. Lauren Murphy, GS, 82; 2. Aly Shuman, Pal, 86; 3. Katie Rice, FM, 92; 4. Ryanne Buch, FM, 94; 5. Audrey Jones, GS, 98; 6. (tie) Hannah Carter, Pal, and Callie Jones, GS, 99; 8. Kierra Hall, Pal, 103; 9. Melissa Thrun, GS, 104; 10. Katelyn Peroulis, MC, 105; 111. (tie) Shannon Wise, Pal, and Zoe Marshall, Gun, 106; 13. Kate Duncan, Pal, 112; 14. (tie) Jordan DeCrow, GS, Megan Hunter, FM, 114.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Things became pretty clear on Monday once scores started rolling into the Ironbridge Golf Course that no one was going to catch Lauren Murphy. And thanks to her, Glenwood Springs High School’s girls golf team is catching on as one of the better squads on Colorado’s Western Slope.
Murphy shot an 82 on the extremely tough Ironbridge Golf Club course on the south end of town, which won her medalist honors and helped the Demons claim their third tournament title of the season with their first-place finish in the five-team Demon Invitational.
“Lauren shot an 82,” said Palisade’s Aly Shuman as the first golfers were coming into the clubhouse at Ironbridge. “I really don’t think that anyone is going to shoot better than that.”
Shuman’s statement, which came following her second-place round of 86, turned out to be prophetic. Murphy, a freshman at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale with long, red pigtails flopping around all day, played mostly par golf with only one blowup hole: a quadruple bogey that came on the par-4 third hole.
“I actually didn’t birdie any holes, which makes me sad,” the freshman said.
Unlike some freshman who would mentally crumble after having such a hole, Murphy has already learned the art of putting the past behind her quickly.
“I try to forget what happened because you can’t change that,” Murphy said. “The thing is to focus on the shot at hand and let the bad shot go, because if you dwell on the past you’re never going to get anywhere.”
Glenwood’s girls golf program seems to be going places. This third team title this season is three more than Glenwood has had in each of the past three seasons combined. What’s more is that the Demons not only have what seems to be a legitimate state-qualifying candidate, but a team that is easily having more success this year than in recent years past.
“Lauren’s play is definitely motivating everyone,” fifth-year Glenwood coach Clem Michel said. “Our girls are seeing what it is that she’s doing, and they’re realizing what kind of time and effort has to go into being that good.”
It translated Monday into a team score of 279. Palisade was second at 288, with Fruita Monument coming in third at 294.
Murphy, 14, had plenty of playing background behind her. When she was 12, she won the Colorado Junior Golf Association Junior Series Championship in Lakewood in July 2013. Earlier that month, she also qualified for, and played in, the Calloway World Junior Championship at Country Club Rancho Bernardo, California, in July 2013.
She chose CRMS primarily for the academic offerings it has as opposed to Roaring Fork High, which is within walking distance from her house that is located next to River Valley Ranch Golf Club. Neither school has a girls golf program, however, which is why Murphy is playing high school golf for Glenwood.
River Valley Ranch, by the way, is the site of this year’s Class 4A State Championships May 18 and 19. Also, Michel said the last time Glenwood had an individual golfer go to state was in 2011, when Caroline Tham-Johansson, a Swedish exchange student, tied Melissa Steinbach of Coal Ridge for third place in the 2012 regional tournament in Gunnison.
Meanwhile, Murphy’s Glenwood teammate, Audrey Jones, shot a career-best 98. Another Glenwood golfer, Callie Jones, broke 100 for the first time ever to finish in a tie for sixth place with Palisade’s Hannah Carter.
Also playing in the tournament but not fielding a full team was Grand Valley. Playing for the Cardinals was Kayla Holbrook, who shot a 130, and Kayla France, who carded a 165.
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Moffat County kicked off high school sports Season B in style Tuesday night, rolling to a convincing 54-22 win over the visiting Grand Valley Cardinals from Parachute.