Forney wins regional title by three shots
LONGMONT — When Loren Forney was a freshman, she won a Class 4A regional golf title by getting through a four-hole playoff.
Winning her second regional crown Tuesday wasn’t as difficult.
The Central senior fired a 4-over-par 76 at Ute Creek Golf Course to win the Class 5A Northern Regional title by three strokes.
“I’m just getting ready for state,” she said. “I just looked at it as another qualifier, so I just went and had fun. I was confident. You always have to be confident. I wasn’t expecting to win, because I know Gina Larson (of Skyline) is a good player, and everyone else. It just happened.”
Forney was one of seven local qualifiers, including teammate Brittany Hoppe, who won a two-hole playoff for the final spot.
Fruita Monument had three qualifiers (Jessica Sinner, Tymerie Ho and Summer Igo), and Grand Junction had two (Jordan Fellhauer and Jordan Tufly).
Forney played at Rifle her first two years before moving to Central one year ago. She said winning a regional in 5A meant more, “because there’s more competition.”
“But, really, it’s more about state,” she said.
Forney was one of only two players in the field to break 80. Michelle Harrison of Fort Collins was second with a 79.
“My short game was amazing,” Forney said. “I had 29 putts; my chipping and putting was amazing. That’s what saved me on a lot of shots.”
Fellhauer, a senior, tied for fifth overall with an 82, about three shots above her scoring average of 79.
“I felt like I was fighting for everything out there because I was hitting the ball great; I just wasn’t scoring,” she said.
Still, she earned a spot at state for the first time since 2008. Tufly qualified for the second straight year.
“I worked really hard this season to make it and do well,” Fellhauer said. “I feel like it paid off and even though it was a rough day, it was not too bad.”
Fruita finished third in the team race, led by Sinner’s 83. The Wildcats’ fourth player, Amy Hurshman, carded a 93 and missed qualifying by one stroke.
“We’re elated that we got three in,” coach Tim Coit said. “It’s a tough setting. It was like Ireland out there, it was so brutally cold.
“Our kids played well. I was really proud of the way they sucked it up and got it done. We kind of came on at the end of the year. The kids just finished strong. I’m proud of them.”
Class 4A Western Regional
The Palisade High School golf team added a late replacement to its regional golf roster, which turned out to be a great move.
At the last minute, Bulldogs coach Jan Norell put Sam Blair on the four-person team that went to Tuesday’s 4A Western Regional Tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig. Blair shot a 90 — good enough for fourth place — which qualified her for the 4A state tournament.
“She got the opportunity and took advantage of it,” Norell said. “We knew she had the ability and she put it together at the right time.”
Blair, a sophomore, finished seven strokes behind Heather Nicholson of Moffat County and Taylor Walters of Rifle, who both shot 83 to tie for first place. Nicholson defeated Walters in a one-hole playoff to win the regional championship.
“It was a fun tournament with a lot of girls playing well,” Norell said.
Nicholson’s first place finish helped propel Moffat County to a first place finish as a team with a team score of 276.
Palisade finished in fifth place as a team with a 298. Other Bulldogs scores were Kate Shuman shooting a 102, Savannah Latham finishing with a 106, and Nicole Summy turning in a 121.
The 4A state championship will be played May 24 and 25 at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose.