Peterson putts way to victory
Indians run away with team title at Bookcliff
When Chelsea Peterson is on the green, Montrose High School girls golf coach Jim Scarry is welcome any time.
“He’s allowed to watch me putt,” Peterson said. “I do better (with him there).”
But once she walks over to the next tee box, Scarry better have made himself scarce.
“I’m not even allowed to watch her,” he said.
Scarry realizes it’s for the best.
“It’s a completely mental thing,” Peterson said. “I love my coaches, but something about teeing off, having them there ... nothing seems to go right.”
Her coaches were out of sight and obviously out of mind Monday as Peterson said her driver was her best club at Bookcliff Country Club, where she fired a 79 for medalist honors to lead the Indians to a team victory by 20 strokes over Durango at the 14-team Grand Junction Invitational.
Peterson said she has finished second and third at tournaments, but this was the first individual victory and matched the lowest score for the junior at a high school tournament.
“My driver seemed to be the only thing going straight, my driving and putting,” Peterson said.
The latter was important as she recovered on the green when her approaches strayed from her intended target. Peterson had 33 putts, leading her to say, “That’s a good day for me.”
Her final hole, par-4 No. 18, exemplified her round and left her feeling good about it.
Peterson said she was tired but hit a good drive, then landed her approach shot short and to the left of the green. Her chip initially went long but rolled back toward the hole, leaving her with a 10- to 12-foot putt, and she noted Scarry, as he’s allowed to be, was there to watch as she sank it for par.
Putting comes with pressure, but Peterson said it’s OK for Peterson to watch because, “I’ve made so many putts. That’s my strong suit, I feel, and I’m comfortable with it.”
Joining Peterson at the top of the individual standings was teammate Madison Gill, the tourney runner-up with an 82, which helped Montrose total 258 strokes.
Gill has shot better, such as the 78 the senior carded a week ago at The Bridges Golf and Country Club in Montrose. But that’s home cooking. Bookcliff Country Club is a course she played once previously, three years ago as a freshman.
Helping her conquer the unfamiliar surroundings was her play near the green and on it.
“I think my short game was what saved me, my chipping and putting, which was good because these greens were tough. They’re brutal,” Gill said, explaining the greens were much faster than the ones she’s used to playing.
Given that, she added, “An 82, I’m good with that.”
Playing well on the unfamiliar course, Scarry said, is a sign Peterson and Gill are coming of age as players, and that’s exciting on a deep team that normally has Kala Keltz as its undisputed No. 1. Keltz and several other Montrose players missed Monday’s tourney because they’re vacationing with their families on spring break this week.
“That’s when you know they are getting to that level ... their play today, it was not dictated by the course but by their ability,” Scarry said. “I’m proud of them, and it’s not just the scores, it’s playing well and playing the right way. They played their games.”
Central seeks consistency
While Central High School’s Red team finished third with 283 strokes, Warriors coach Casey Doss hopes his players can capture the consistency and mental toughness that will allow his team to challenge Montrose.
He knows his top three players — Jordan Eller, Kiana Garcia and Sam Medina — each can shoot in the mid-80s. Confounding them early this season has been an awful hole or two each round, Doss said.
“Minimizing the ups and downs, that’s the big thing for our team,” he said, adding they can’t let one bad hole affect the rest of their round.
The Warriors had a team meeting at the conclusion of the tournament Monday, and Doss said his players are upset with themselves.
“That’s what I like to see,” he said. “The girls are actually frustrated and want to do better.”
It can start today when Central hosts an invitational at Tiara Rado Golf Course.
“I told the girls, ‘Turn the page,’ ” Doss said. “Tomorrow’s a new day.”
Tiger senior shines
Grand Junction High School senior Maya Freismuth will look to keep doing what she did Monday, firing an 85 for third place.
“She really played well today,” Tigers coach Clay Tufly said. “She shot a 40 on the front, then struggled a bit on the back but still ended up with 85. That’s a good score for her.”
Delta took a 2-0 lead, but Battle Mountain rallied for a 3-2 win in 4A Western Slope League girls soccer Monday.
Panthers coach Julie Mottern said her team had a chance to tie the game on a penalty kick with less than a minute left, but the shot hit the crossbar.