Fore-th! That’s where Glenwood Springs High School’s Stripp sits
GOLDEN, Colorado – Michelle Stripp couldn’t stop looking at the scoreboard.She intermittently shot a glance its way or peeked over shoulders for a better view.The Glenwood Springs junior had good reason for doing so: She had just carded an opening-round score of 81 on Monday at the Class 4A state girls golf tournament in Golden.With fast greens frustrating golfers and upping scores across the board, Stripp’s mark was good enough for a fourth-place standing after the first of two days on the links at Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden.
“I don’t like it,” she told her coach, Kathy Whiting. “I like sixth. I don’t want a target. Right now, I have a huge target on my back. I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”And the intense Demon shot her 8-over-par score by ditching her driver midway through Monday’s round.”I was having trouble getting off the tee box with my driver,” Stripp said.So she ditched it, and it paid off. Only Kent Denver lefty Olivia Garard (74), Colorado Academy’s Elizabeth Kresock (79) and Evergreen’s Chance Forbes (79) sat higher in the standings.Right behind Stripp in fifth place is Rifle sophomore Loren Forney, who shot an 82 on Monday. That score didn’t sit well with the youngster, who last year shot a 77 on the first day of state at Highland Meadows Golf Course in Windsor.Only because she knew she could have done better.
“I wasn’t hitting the green like I’d like,” Forney said. “I couldn’t get up and down as much.”Forney, who relishes playing against top talent, was grouped with Garard.”I usually play better (against better players),” Forney said. “I stayed with her on the front side. After that, I couldn’t hit the greens. I two-putted a lot on the back side. … The back nine kind of did me in.”As a freshman in 2007, Forney finished fifth at state. If she holds to or improves on Monday’s form in today’s second round, she should find herself right about in a similar position when all is said and done.”I’d like to be up in the top 10, at least,” she said. “I just hope tomorrow will be better.”Just as Forney remains in the hunt, so does Glenwood Springs in the team standings.
The Demons’ collective first-round score of 272 – rounded out after Stripp’s 81 by junior Natasha Derby’s 95 and senior Maggee Becker’s 96 – placed them fifth behind Colorado Academy (257), Kent Denver (257), Broomfield (270) and Golden (270).Rifle, which got a 104 from senior Kori Kosht and a 124 from junior Mercedes Bolado, shot a 310.The day was perhaps most disappointing for Becker, who won the Western Regional title in Delta two weeks ago with an 80.Becker will do her best to keep it all in perspective as she looks to better her standing today.”It’s just another tournament,” she said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun.”Second-round redemption awaits Becker and each of Class 4A’s 84 state qualifiers today on the par-73, 5,809-yard Rolling Hills Country Club course. Threesomes begin teeing off at 8:30 a.m.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.