After year off, Mavs’ Anderson having fun on the golf course
Dana Anderson had no expectations, but she had a lot of fun.
The Mesa State College junior played her first round of golf in five months Monday in the first round of the Mesa State Invitational at Tiara Rado Golf Course.
Although she shot 97, she came off the course laughing and smiling.
“It feels great to be out here,” Anderson said. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I did come out.
“It was really fun. I don’t think I’ve had this much fun playing this bad.”
She hasn’t played since April for a couple of very good reasons.
Her mother died of ovarian cancer the day before the spring season started last March, and Anderson is entering her third year in the nursing program.
“I didn’t think it would be fair for other people if I missed half of the practices so I decided to focus on school,” Anderson said. “Lo and behold, they needed a fifth player.”
Anderson didn’t score for the Mavericks, but they are in third place with 337 with the final round scheduled at 8:30 a.m. today. Fort Hays State is first with 331 and Western New Mexico is second with 333.
“It was tricky out there,” first-year Mesa State coach Scott Hanson said. “It was gusty. The wind was swirling a bit. I knew the scores would be high. I told the girls to keep grinding. Bogeys on some holes are not bad scores.”
Kiley Johansen of Fort Hays State is first after shooting 9-over-par 80. Mesa State freshman Jennifer Hilts is tied for second at 82. Another Mesa freshman, Afton Balling, is tied for fifth at 83.
Mesa State senior Sadie Peavler shot an 85 and freshman Jessica Berve shot 87 in the windy conditions similar to the Mesa State Invitational last fall at the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa.
“It kept crossing my mind, not another Redlands (windy day),” said Peavler about the wind. “This course
is deceivingly harder than Redlands. There are so many more white (out-of-bounds) stakes on the front nine. It is really technical.”
Anderson struggled on the front nine as well, but sliced 15 strokes off her score on the back nine. She knocked in a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 11.
“I had some putting issues,” she said. “I lost several balls on the front nine.”
Anderson didn’t even have her own clubs, which are at her father’s home in Loveland. She shot 97 with former coach Butch Miller’s clubs. Miller is now the Mesa State athletic director.
“I like Butch’s clubs,” Anderson said. “I might steal them for the season.”
If that’s what it takes for Anderson to keep playing, that’s fine with the Mavs.
“It’s awesome to have her back,” Peavler said. “She had a rough year. The team will benefit to have her.
She has the ability to go low. She has the most potential of the extra girls.”
Hanson noticed Anderson’s ability immediately.
“She has a nice swing and a lot of talent,” Hanson said. “When she came out Sunday, it was the first time I’ve seen her. The first swing she took, she hit a driver and bombed it down the middle. You could tell she was having fun again.”
It was something she’s needed it quite some time.