Forney shoots for junior girls title |

Forney shoots for junior girls title

Post Independent/Phil Sandoval

Loren Forney is having a good summer. The 14-year-old Rifle resident has established herself as one of the top junior girls golfers on the Western Slope.And, with a good round plus a little luck, Forney could be holding the championship trophy at next week’s ACE summer tour finale in Montrose. “I feel very good this year, because last year I was struggling so much,” she said. “This year I shot in the 70s three times, and I’ve been consistently shooting in the 80s. I’ve been doing very well in my tournaments, and I’m very excited for what’s coming up next.”

What awaits Forney is a showdown with other ACE tour girls division top scorers Whitney Brofus, Keegan Hammond and Angela Marquez.The ACE tour was created for junior golfers on the Western Slope. Players earn points, according to where they finish in each of the event’s six sanctioned tournaments. To qualify for the championship, each golfer needs to play in a minimum of four of the six events.Forney, the youngest of the girls championship foursome, has finished among the top three in each ACE tournament she’s entered.Between those events and making a monthly trip to Denver to work with her swing coach, Forney’s managed to squeeze a win out of the 14- to 16-year-old Daily Sentinel Tournament and take second in the Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s Junior Match Play Championship.

The success Forney’s had this summer is not surprising to Rifle Creek Golf Course pro Duke Earl.”She’s been a good player the last couple of years,” he said. “Loren is very dedicated. She’s out here practicing four or five times a week.”Earl is also the head girls golf coach at Rifle High. As part of Forney’s practice regimen, she hit balls with the team this spring. The only reason Forney, who is home-schooled, couldn’t compete for the high school this past season was she was too young.”We’re good friends,” Forney said of the high school team. “When we practice together, we just have fun and play our game.”

What concerns Forney most about playing high school golf next spring is weather.”The (team) told me it’s very difficult to shoot well because you have to play in blizzards and rain and everything like that. It kind of freaks me out,” she said.Weather’s the only thing that fazes her on the golf course. Forney’s got a good handle on everything else – including playing against her older brother Brandon, who will be playing in the ACE boys championship tournament.”We have played a lot together, and he’s made me tougher,” Loren said of the two siblings dueling against each other on the links. “He tries to get in my head so much. He’s teased me about not being as good as him. Finally, I’m just starting to beat him now.”

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