Forney, Rifle Bears look to defend their golf titles |

Forney, Rifle Bears look to defend their golf titles

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

DELTA, Colorado – The last time the area girls golf teams hit the links at Devil’s Thumb Golf Course in Delta, Glenwood finished fourth and Rifle placed fifth. Rifle’s top golfer, Loren Forney, finished fourth overall in the individual standings, and Glenwood’s Michelle Stripp and Natasha Derby tied for ninth.

Both the Bears and the Demons, as well as the Coal Ridge and Grand Valley squads, will be returning to the links today and Tuesday for the Class 4A Western Regional.If the Demons and Bears can repeat their performances from April 4, they should be in pretty good shape, especially considering the only golfers who did better were from 5A Central, Fruita Monument and Grand Junction. This time, those teams won’t be there.The four area teams won’t have to battle against any 5A teams. If that had been the case on April 4, Glenwood would have won the tournament and Rifle would have been the runner-up. Forney would have won the individual title, and Derby and Stripp would have tied for third place.

Rifle, which has won the regional tournament the last two years, will be looking to three-peat. With Forney also defending her individual title from last year, and the Bears getting help from No. 2 golfer Kori Kosht, the Bears will be hard to beat.Glenwood poses a big threat to dethrone the Bears as the Demons have won a handful of tournaments this year and been the top 4A team in a number of others. Glenwood senior Maggee Becker joins Derby and Stripp are the top three Demon golfers and all have potential to combine for a very low team score.Coal Ridge and Grand Valley will both be looking to continue the improvement they have seen this season.

For the Titans, the tournament may be the last for their first class of seniors in Mini Kanakaraj and Callie Schlegel. For the young Cardinals, Kaity Brown, Sydney Wardlaw and Kelly Meldrum will look to turn in their lowest scores of the year.All of the teams will be out on Devil’s Thumb for a practice round today before they take the course again on Tuesday for the 18-hole regional tournament. The team that wins the tournament automatically qualifies its top four players to the Class 4A state tournament to be played at Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden on May 19-20. The top 10 individuals, not counting anyone on the winning team, will also be invited to the state tournament.

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