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Rough start at state golf tourney

GYPSUM – Every golfer has an off day. It’s how they come back that counts.To a person, that was the mindset of each area golfer as they spoke of their individual games after Monday’s opening round of the 36-hole, Class 4A state girls golf tournament at Cotton Ranch Golf Club.”Tomorrow’s another day,” said Glenwood Springs senior Jacy Reynolds, whose 92 was the lowest score among area state qualifiers.”I don’t know what was wrong today,” she continued. “I was striking the ball well, but my placement was off, and that’s not a good thing for this golf course.” Shot placement was a common problem for area golfers in Monday’s first round.The Demons’ Kammi Ivie, who carded a 96, didn’t get a feel for the 5,813-yard, par-72 Cotton Ranch course until reaching the back nine holes. “I was playing it safe, and I didn’t get the score I wanted,” she said. “I parred the last three holes (on the back nine) and had only one par in the first nine.”Rifle’s Ashley Chastain, in her first state tournament appearance, had the same type of game. Also ending the first round at 96, the Bears sophomore got better as the day progressed.”Ashley really turned it on on the back nine,” said Rifle coach Scott Zevin. “She had a 45 on the back nine after hitting 51 on the front.” Chastain said the difference in her game was a matter of getting comfortable with the environment.”I was extremely nervous. There’s a lot of people here along with a lot of pressure to do well,” she said. “For me, the big thing was to just relax and not take it like such a big deal.”Glenwood’s Emily Hauptli, also playing in her first tournament, agreed.”I’m more confident now that I’ve played the course. Basically, I was trying to survive today and just play smart.Hauptli finished with a round of 115. Lisa Richards, the Demons’ other state qualifier, hit a 121.”I was proud of (the girls’) effort today, because the golf course is unforgiving,” Glenwood coach Kathy Whiting said. “I was with another coach, and he said that one of his girls came off the course crying, because it was so unforgiving to play on.”The leaderboard reflected how unyielding Cotton Ranch is.Two-time individual 4A champ Ashley Tait was the lone player in Monday’s field of 72 golfers to finish the day under par. The Mullen High senior carded a 2-under round of 70, a women’s course record. Entering today’s final round, Tait has a six-stroke lead over four competitors, including Aspen’s Kristin Walla.Moreover, only nine golfers in the field shot in the 70s Monday.Mullen also leads in the team championship chase. The Mustangs, who shot a combined score of 257, hold a one-shot lead over Pueblo South, which takes its 258 total into Tuesday’s final round.Glenwood, the 4A Western Regional team champ, starts today’s action in sixth place at 303, three shots back of Pine Creek and 29 strokes behind fourth-place Fleming.The scores from today’s round will be added with Monday’s totals to determine the state team champion and individual medalists.


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