Golf in the wind: Montrose’s Keltz wins Fruita Monument Invite despite strong gusts
The course wasn’t the only thing high school girl golfers were battling Monday at the Fruita Monument Invitational at Adobe Creek National Golf Course.
The 10 Western Slope schools competing in the tournament fought heavy winds on the wide open Monument and Desert courses at Adobe Creek.
Montrose’s Kala Keltz finished on top with an 83.
“It’s part of the girls golf season,” Keltz said. “It’s never very good weather, but you have to play and deal with it.”
As a freshman, Keltz finished 10th last season in the Class 4A state tournament. Now a sophomore, Keltz has won the first two tournaments the Indians have competed in.
“(Monday) could have gone better,” Keltz said. “I had some bad shots, had some really good shots, had an eagle on one hole, so overall I was happy.”
Montrose finished first as a team with a 272. Fruita Monument was second with a 275.
Monday’s tournament was the first action of the season for some of the host school’s players, including the Wildcats’ No. 1 golfer Jessica Sinner.
Sinner struggled down the stretch, but finished third with an 87.
“I had four birdies, but it fell apart on the last four holes,” Sinner said. “I lost some confidence in my putting, but the game of golf sometimes doesn’t go the way you want.”
Sinner, a junior, made the 5A state tournament last season and finished tied for 19th overall. Sinner, also a two-year starter for the Wildcats’ basketball team, is continuing to get comfortable on the course again.
“I really didn’t do anything during the basketball season, but I played a lot over the summer,” Sinner said. “I’d play with my dad and brother, so I never got to play from the women’s tees and I think that was good preparation.”
Fruita Monument coach Tim Coit said he expects Sinner to compete in every tournament she plays in.
“She’s a good ball striker, and just a solid player,” Coit said. “I’d like to see her shooting in the mid-70s and be competing to win every tournament.”
Coit added Sinner will be pushed by teammate Summer Igo, who finished second Monday with an 86.
It also was the first tournament of the year for many of Central’s varsity golfers. The Warriors had four of their five varsity players finish within six strokes of each other, including a team-high 93 from Kendra Martinez. Brittany Hoppe and Sarah Robbins each shot 94.
“The scores were higher than we expected, but they battled and did OK with the weather we had,” Central coach Casey Doss said. “I still look at this as the preseason. We want to get them out and get them going, and it doesn’t really matter what they shoot yet, just as long as they are getting better.”
Kaylena Chessani led Grand Junction with a 98. Maya Freismuth finished with a 99.
“It was a tough day for golf with that wind,” Grand Junction coach Clay Tufly said. “But I think it will make them stronger.”
Other scores included Palisade’s Kate Shuman and Samantha Blair both shooting 97. Rifle’s Taylor Walters finished fourth with an 88.