Rifle’s score is a hair-raiser for Bear coach

Phil Sandoval

RIFLE – Doug Behr was smiling and sweating at the same time on Monday.

As the final scores kept rolling in during the rescheduled Grand Valley Invitational Tournament, the second-year Rifle High girls golf coach worried about a promise he made to his team earlier in the season.

“I told the girls if they finished a tournament with a (team score) of 295, I’d let them dye my hair,” he said.

The Bear girls almost made Behr cash in his promise. His team shot a combined 298.

“I thought I’d be getting a dye job,” Behr said. “I got to admit, I was sweating a little bit. But I felt good about it.”

Rifle’s third-place finish on its home course at Rifle Creek Golf Club was the team’s best of the year and with the regional tournament a week away, the improvement couldn’t have come at a better time.

Jenny Hughes, the Bears’ No. 1 golfer, shot a third-best 91 in the individual standings. Behr thinks she is ready to make a strong run to earn a 4A state qualifying slot at regionals.

“Jenny was putting the ball well today, and she’s been driving the ball well all year long,” Behr said. “With a little bit more improvement, she should have a good chance to qualify.”

Hughes ended the 18-hole tournament four strokes back of individual runner-up Mandy Preston’s 87 and eight shots behind Preston’s Eagle Valley teammate Charley Hoehn, the 2004 GVI champ’s round of 83.

Grand Valley’s Niki Loschke had the next-lowest individual score among area golfers on Monday. The Cardinal junior finished fifth with a 95, the second time in the past three tournaments Loschke recorded a score in the mid-90s.

Glenwood Springs, minus No. 1 player Jacy Reynolds, used Monday’s tournament as a chance to give less-experienced golfers some varsity action.

Amanda Whiting scored two birdies in a team-best individual round of 107 for the Demons. Anna Herr was a stroke back at 108. Junior Kimmy Brown posted a seasonal-best score of 123.

Eagle Valley also took home the tournament’s team title with a combined score of 266, bettering second-place Grand Junction Central’s 297 by 31 strokes. Glenwood was fourth overall with a 338.

All three area teams are scheduled to finish the regular season Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at the Skier Invitational, to take place at the Aspen Golf Course.

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