Filiss leades Rifle charge at golf regionals
Gracie Filiss has the right attitude in approaching the Class 4A Western Regional high school golf tournament.
She said that staying calm is the key to her being in the hunt for a regional medal and the state tournament berth that accompanies it.
“I just want to play a good round, take it shot-by-shot, and stay level-headed,” the Rifle High senior said of the way she plans to play the Dos Rios Golf Course in Gunnison on Wednesday.
The way Filiss has played this season, keeping cool is not going to be a problem.
As the weather grew warmer, the Bears’ No. 1 golfer has gotten better.
Over the last few weeks of the prep girls golf season Filiss was a medalist in tournaments held in Carbondale, Gunnison,Battlement Mesa and Rifle.
Moreover, Filiss finished in the top ten in every tournament Rifle participated in this season. She shot her best round of golf during the 36-hole Grand Valley Invitational at Rifle Creek Golf Course.
She completed the course with a 78, allowing her to take second place in the GVI with a two-day total of 168, five strokes behind individual tournament champ Lindsay Browder of Gunnison.
So, it’s not surprising that Filiss is among the favorites for a regional title.
“Gracie feels positive about going into regionals,” said Rifle’s long-time head coach Penny Sykes. “She a good worker…that’s what makes her a good golfer. She wants to be competitive…that’s 90 percent of the battle.”
“She’s not happy with a 78, she’d rather have that 77. She always pushing herself to score a little bit better.”
But the coach said there’s plenty of other golfers who should be in the hunt for an individual medal.
That list includes Browder, Moffat County’s Lindsay Scott, Caitlin Avery and Sarah Murr of Montrose and Kristin Walla from the combined Basalt/Aspen/Roaring Fork team.
Glenwood Springs will be represented at regionals by freshmen Jacy Reynolds and Ashley Herr along with juniors Ali Tonozzi and Stephanie Matthews.
So far as becoming the 2002 regional team champion, Sykes noted that Rifle’s four-person team, which includes Filiss, Skylar Bell, Caitlin Wagner and Christian Holybee, could contend.
“I think they are going to do really well if they’ve got the right mind set,” Sykes said of her team. ” But, we’ll have our hands full,” the coach added.
Sykes sees the team championship as a multi-team battle between Eagle Valley, Moffat County and Montrose along with her Bears.
“If all of them are on their game and have their heads on straight, we could be very competitive,” she said.
The trick to playing Dos Rios, said Sykes, is knowing where the hazards are.
“(Dos Rios) is not a hard course to score on because it’s pretty flat. The thing that will give the girls a problem is not knowing where the hazards are.”
Those hazards include a number of hidden pondson the back nine holes.
“It’s all a matter of knowing what’s out there because you can’t always see it,” Sykes said.
The nine individual best scorers, and team champion, advances to next week’s 4A state tournament at Pelican Lake in Windsor.
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