Rifle takes fifth at Tiger Invitational | PostIndependent.com

Rifle takes fifth at Tiger Invitational

GRAND JUNCTION ” Instead of green, the colors of the Redlands Mesa Golf Course were a marshy brown. But the players from the Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls golf teams didn’t care too much.

Instead of hitting Wiffle balls in the gym, they were outside playing golf.

And in the first tournament of the 2006 tour, both the Bears and Demons carded a few surprisingly good scores.

“Compared to Rifle Creek, the course was great,” said Rifle junior Ashley Chastain after shooting an area-best round of 96 at Monday’s Tiger Invitational. “Everything was nice.”

However, when it came to her putting, the Bears’ No. 1 golfer was her own worst critic. “I was a little rusty,” Chastain admitted. “And I wasn’t pleased with myself, but for the first tournament it was decent.”

Considering her score earned 10th place among a field laced with Class 5A golfers, Chastain’s score measures up pretty well.

“Today, I set a goal for myself to at least shoot in the 80s. I thought I could do it,” Chastain said. “I started out good, but I didn’t have a good back nine.”

Her poor end game was caused by inexperience with the Grand Junction course. “I’ve only played here once, and that was only nine holes,” Chastain said.

Local golfers, with plenty of rounds played at Redlands Mesa, dominated play.

Melissa Martin from nearby Grand Junction Central was the individual medalist with a field-low of 80. Two Fruita Monument golfers ” Jaime Ranney and Whitney Rahm ” finished second and third with rounds of 82 and 84, respectively.

Two Bear golfers, Alicia Eggan and Kelsey Mallicoat, playing in the No. 4 and 5 slots, finished with career-best marks of 100 and 104, respectively. Returning lettermen Trisha Wailes and Kori Kosht finished at 116 and 122.

Fruita and Central swapped positions in the team standings. The Wildcats won the team championship on a 261 combined score, 13 strokes ahead of the team runner-up Warriors’ 274.

Fifth-place Rifle’s 300 was the best team score of the four Class 4A schools in the tournament.

Glenwood Springs was represented by two of its younger golfers Monday.

Playing in their first varsity-level tournaments, Demon freshman Michelle Stripp shot 117. Maggie Becker, a sophomore, finished at 119.

“This was just a day for us to get on the grass,” said Glenwood coach Kathy Whiting. “We accomplished our goal and got our new golfers on the course; it was a good introduction for the two of them.”

Glenwood’s full team sees its first taste of competition in back-to-back tournaments at Adobe Creek in Fruita and Grand Junction’s Lincoln Park after Spring Break.

With one event in the bank, Rifle also takes a two-week hiatus from the Western Slope prep tour, planning to return to the Abode Creek tournament on March 21.

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