Sinner overcomes waterlogged clubs to qualify for state
Fruita Monument High School golfer Jessica Sinner proved she can overcome just about anything.
Tuesday in the Metro East Regional at Tiara Rado Golf Course, Sinner’s pull cart that held her golf clubs rolled into a water hazard. Despite wet grips, she qualified for the state tournament with a 93.
“My grips were ruined after that and it was hard to play,” said Sinner, who qualified for state for the second consecutive season. “At first I thought someone hid them, but I was more worried about my putt than my clubs in the water.”
Sinner put her clubs next to the No. 13 tee box when she got to the No. 12 green.
A gust of wind rolled Sinner’s clubs into the water, even though she left them what is normally a safe distance from the hazard.
“It was a complete disaster,” Fruita Monument coach Tim Coit said. “We had to get a whole new bag, I was out there with towels trying to dry it off, but her clubs wouldn’t dry.
“But I was proud how she was able to hang in there.”
Sinner was already trying to move past a tough front nine when she faced the challenge of wet clubs.
“I walked down the hill and saw my dad and Coach Coit trying to get the bag out of the water,” Sinner said. “I couldn’t help but laugh. I tried to shrug it off, but it was in my thoughts the rest of the way.”
Sinner was paired with the defending state champion Somin Lee of Overland. The senior took one step closer to defending her title by winning Tuesday’s regional with a 73.
“I liked the conditions,” Lee said. “I had a lot of fun playing this course.”
The Class 5A state tournament is May 23-24 at Patty Jewett Golf Course in Colorado Springs.
Cherry Creek won the regional team title with a 239 and qualified all four golfers, including Shinwoo Lee and Calli Ringsby, who tied for second with a 77.
The Bruins qualifying as a team opened up some spots for local players. The state cut for Tuesday was 97, and Grand Junction’s Jordan Tufly qualified with a 96. Central’s Sarah Robbins shot a 94 to qualify, and Fruita Monument’s Summer Igo shot a 92.
“It was unknown,” Robbins said. “I just focused on trying to beat my score from last year’s regionals because I didn’t know what the cut was going to be.”
The low District 51 player was Central’s Brittany Hoppe, who shot an 86. Hoppe survived a three-hole playoff to make last year’s state tournament, and used that experience to get through this year’s regional.
“You don’t get much sleep the night before regionals because you are worrying about what the cut’s going to be,” Hoppe said. “But you just have to come out here and play safe. At regional’s it’s not about winning, but playing the smart shot.”
Arapahoe finished second as a team with a 242, and Central and Fruita Monument tied for fourth place with a 288.
“It’s tough,” Central coach Casey Doss said. “If you haven’t been in this situation, sometimes the pressure you put on yourself is worse than what everyone puts on you.”
Montrose’s Kala Keltz shot a 82 to run away with the Western Regional at Battlement Mesa Golf Club. Keltz finished 15 strokes ahead of Rifle’s Taylor Walters and Moffat County’s Callie Papoulas, who tied for second place with a 97.
Palisade’s Kate Shuman was the lone qualifier for the Bulldogs, finishing fifth with a 101.
Montrose qualified as a team with a score of 293. The Indians will take Keltz, Madison Gill, Baylee Hawk and Justine Johnson to the state tournament May 23-24 at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo.