Ho’s putting lifts her to ACE Golf Foundation title in finale
By KENT MINCER
If there was one aspect of her golf game Tymerie Ho wanted to work especially hard on this summer, it was her short game.
Specifically, she wanted to spend some time with the putter.
“My putting needs work,” the Fruita Monument High School senior said.
Ironically, it was her putting that helped her win the title in Monday’s ACE Golf Foundation season finale at The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa.
Ho was the points leader in the girls division after the six-tournament regular-season schedule, winning four tournaments and finishing second in two others. She shot a 91 on Monday, as did Amy Hurshman.
The two headed to the putting green for a putt-off. Both took a three-putt on the first hole;
Ho made her putt on the shorter second putt-off in one try to win the title.
The boys title was more cut and dried. Ryan Keeler fired a 79 to win by five strokes over Mark Stern.
After the six regular-season tournaments, the top 15 boys and six girls qualified for the finals. The top four finishers in each division in Monday’s tournament advanced to a super tournament next Monday at Bookcliff Country Club for the 2009 overall title.
Keeler has been playing the ACE Golf Foundation summer tour since he can remember.
“I think the ACE program is a pretty good thing,” he said of the foundation, which is sponsored by Home Loan Insurance.
He likes being able to play on the Western Slope rather than having to travel to the Front Range to play in Colorado Junior Golf Association tournaments.
Many of his Fruita Monument schoolmates, including a couple of teammates during the fall prep golf season, played the tour this summer.
“We’re out here competing individually but we’re trying to compete as a team,” he said, referring to other Wildcat golfers such as Jeff Cunningham, Joey Saad and Brian Espeland.
Cunningham finished third in the boys division Monday with an 87.
Like Ho, Keeler begins his senior year this fall. He made a commitment to improve his game over the summer to give himself the best chance to compete at the high school level this fall.
“Anthony DePalma (a 2008 Fruita Monument graduate) inspired me to get up early and work hard,” Keeler said.
DePalma made major gains in his game during the summer prior to his senior season.
Ho is trying to make the same commitment.
“Oh, I practice a lot more,” she said of heading to the practice range three to five times a week to work on her game.
“(It’s my) senior year,” she said, echoing Keeler’s sentiment about finishing her high school career on a strong note.