Tait, Mullen too tough at state golf tourney
GYPSUM – Mullen’s Ashley Tait essentially put her third Class 4A girls state golf title on ice after Monday’s round of 70 at Cotton Ranch. Her play on Tuesday turned the tournament into a one-horse race as she carded a 71 to claim the individual crown by 10 strokes over Aspen’s Kristin Walla. Tait’s 3-under-par for the tournament also helped Mullen net the team title, edging Pueblo South by five strokes.
Western regional champion Glenwood Springs had a rough first day, and didn’t have anyone within striking distance of Tait when Tuesday’s round opened. Still, the Demons shot nine strokes better as a team on the second day to take fifth place in the tournament. First-year golfer Emily Hauptli had a lot to do with the turnaround. The junior came in with a round of 104 after carding a 115 on the first day.Hauptli’s goal of breaking into double digits for the first time during the tournament will have to wait, but the junior doesn’t expect to just squeak under triple digits next year.
“I’m just going to keep working on my swing over the summer,” Hauptli said. “I’m definitely going to break 100. I’m looking at shooting in the 80s.””That’s going to really help us for next year,” Glenwood coach Kathy Whiting said of Hauptli and fellow first-year golfer Lisa Richards (122-125-247) getting the state tournament experience. “That’s what the needed … some course savvy. They both learned so much.”Glenwood’s Jacy Reynolds posted the low score among area qualifiers with a 92-91-183 tie for 19th place overall – not that the score satisfied her.
“I don’t remember the last time I shot in the 90s,” Reynolds said. “It hurts to know I have the ability to play better but didn’t.”I think I kind of let the course beat me up a bit,” she added. “I know it’s a hard course, and I let it get to me.”
Reynolds “had some of the best drives,” according to Whiting, but couldn’t overcome a few small mistakes and bad breaks, including a two-stroke penalty on the ninth hole. She will have a chance to make of for her disappointing tournament next fall when she heads to McNeese State University in Louisiana on a golf scholarship. Teammate Kammi Ivie will also play at the college level next season, after earning a scholarship to Mesa State College in Grand Junction. Ivie closed out her prep career with a 96-99 -195.
Playing in Ivie’s threesome, Rifle sophomore Ashley Chastain had all the pieces working but couldn’t put them together.”My swing felt great, I was hitting my woods straight, but I just didn’t score,” said the Bears’ only qualifier, who finished at 96-101-197. “Hopefully I’ll make it back next year. Senior Niki Loschke was the only Grand Valley player to qualify for the state tournament and finished out her prep career at 104-107-211.
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