Gone with the wind: Gusty conditions can’t keep Plewe from winning at Rifle
Tuesday at Rifle Creek Golf Course, Rifle
1. Montrose 281; 2. Palisade 285; 3. Glenwood Springs 286; 4. Fruita Monument 292; 5. Rifle 295; 6. Aspen 308; 7. Coal Ridge 328; 8. 8. Rifle JV 336; 9. Moffat County 347; 10. Grand Junction 348.
INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 15)
1. Kiselya Plewe, Dolores, 77; 2. Lauren Murphy, Glenwood, 81; 3. Elly Walters, Rifle, 84; 4. Colores Sharaf, Aspen, 87; 5. aly Shuman, Palisade, 89; 6. (tie) Melissa Steinbach, Coal Ridge, and Alex Hanley, Montrose, 90; 8. (tie) Brooke Brennecke, Montrose, and Bethanny Wells, Montrose, 93; 10. Lexi Youngren, Montrose, 95; 11. (tie) Katie Rice, Fruita, and Maci Wiley, Fruita, 96; 13. (tie) Shannon Wise, Palisade, and Hannah Carver, Palisade, 98; 15. Audrey Jones, Glenwood, 100.
RIFLE — The blustery, windy conditions at Rifle Creek Golf Course on Tuesday didn’t keep Dolores’ Kiselya Plewe from sailing away with a girls golf tournament championship.
Plewe, a junior and a two-time state golf tournament qualifier, shot a 5-over 77 to finish with a four-stroke victory in the individual standings of the 11-team Rifle Invitational at Rifle Creek Golf Course.
“I chipped very well today, and I only had one three-putt the whole day,” Plewe said. “I just tried to keep things in the fairway. I didn’t know the course very well, so getting on the fairway all the time was a big deal for me.”
That strategy was especially useful during a tournament where most of the tournament scores reached three figures on the golf course located 10 miles north of Rifle. The National Weather Service said that wind gusts in Rifle measured between 33 and 40 mph after 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, which was right around the time that some of the tournament’s better golfers were playing their final holes of the tournament. In all, only 14 of the tournament’s 61 golfers posted scores lower than 100.
Even Elly Walters, a Rifle High freshman who has won four tournaments already this season, had a few holed on her home course that gave her a lot of trouble thanks to the conditions.
“On 17, I was in pretty good shape as I headed to the green when I shanked it into a hazard,” said Walters, who started her round of 18 on the 10th hole. “From then on, it was just one big grind.
“That shot,” she continued, “is one that kind of takes the wind out of your sails.”
Plewe had three birdies during her winning round and won despite a double-bogey on the par-3 ninth hole, which served as her 18th. Finishing second in the tournament with an 81 was Glenwood Springs freshman Lauren Murphy, a Colorado Rocky Mountain School student who made par on that final hole after barely missing a 15-foot birdie putt. The finish extended a streak for Murphy: she hasn’t finished lower than second place in any of the six tournaments she’s played in, including three victories.
Walters finished third with an 84, which is her lowest finish of the season so far. It wasn’t the finish that bothered her, though.
“Even with the conditions, it’s still not a reason for three-putts or other things that you can do something about,” Walters said.
Plewe, who had never played at Rifle Creek before Tuesday, made sure to take advantage of the opportunities she had through the strategy she followed through with.
“I heard a lot of the people who have played here to always keep the ball below the hole so that you’ll always have an uphill putt,” Plewe said. “And I was told that it was a second-shot course, so I always wanted to make sure I’d be set up for a good approach shot.”
Aspen’s Dolores Sharaf was fourth with an 87, with Palisade’s Aly Shuman finishing fifth with an 89. In the team standings, Montrose placed first with a 281, with Palisade (285), Glenwood (286), Fruita Monument (292) and Rifle (295) rounding out the top five.
Finishing right outside of the top five was Coal Ridge High senior Melissa Steinbach, who was one stroke behind Shuman with a 90. Steinbach is trying for her fourth consecutive berth in the state tournament, which this year will be held at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale May 18 and 19.
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