In the swing of things: Forney wins Fruita Monument Invitational

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Fruita Monument’s Katelynn Binkley chips onto the ninth green Monday morning at Adobe Creek Golf Course.

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Grand Junction’s Raelynn Early hits onto the No. 9 green Monday during the Fruita Monument Invitational at Adobe Creek Golf Course.

Here’s how Central High School senior Loren Forney began her spring golf season:

On the fourth hole at Adobe Creek Golf Course, Forney launched a drive down the fairway, hit her approach shot to the end of the green, then nailed a birdie putt from about 30 feet.

Forney continued her solid play Monday and finished with a 78 to win the Fruita Monument Invitational.

“I try to focus on every shot and I want to get back into that groove that I had going for me last year,” Forney said. “Today was a good day. It was a little wet, but everything was rolling nice.”

Forney’s the clear-cut No. 1 on Central’s team after last season’s state tournament appearance. The senior has already verbally committed to play next year for Portland State.

“Our strength is our senior leadership in a girl (Forney) that’s been there before, and seen some of the other good players that have come through the state,” Central coach Casey Doss said.

“She can teach the younger girls the ropes, and the right way to go about playing the game.”

The Warriors need Forney’s leadership on a team that doesn’t have much experience. Central’s varsity roster will be filled out by Brittany Hoppe, Kendra Martinez, Sarah Patrick and Sarah Robbins.

Doss said the approach with the team is focusing on being fundamentally sound around the green.

“We talk a lot about the short game, and they get bored doing so much short-game work,” Doss said. “But you don’t score off the tee, you score around the green and to keep your score respectable, you have to do it around the green.”

Leading the way Monday for Grand Junction was senior Jordan Fellhauer, who played in Forney’s group, and finished one stroke behind at 79.

Alongside Fellhauer is Jordan Tufly and Raelynn Early, who both shot 96, to help the Tigers finish with the top team score (271). Grand Junction coach Kevin LaDuke said the Tigers have been working hard to get ready for the season.

“The girls got out during their spring break on their own and did some work,” LaDuke said. “This being their first tournament, there was some jitters.”

Tournament host Fruita Monument scored the second best team score at 277. Fruita Monument coach Tim Coit said he expects a lot of parity from his team, and it showed in the first tournament. Fruita was led by sophomore Jessica Sinner’s 88. Not far behind Sinner was Amy Hurshman with a 94, Summer Igo’s 95, and Tymerie Ho’s 97.

Coit said the early part of the season is used to readjust to playing in a competitive scenario.

“We’re basically getting the rust off, and the girls season is tough because you start when it’s so cold,” Coit said. ” You are trying to get the kinks out, and March is the month where you get used to the pressure of competing again.”

Rounding out the Grand Valley teams was Palisade, which lost five seniors from last year’s team. The Bulldogs finished seventh place with a 327.

Palisade was led by Mandi Green’s 103.

Palisade coach Jan Norell said the Bulldogs will spend the early part of the season figuring out what they have.

“After today, we’ll have a good idea of where everyone is at,” Norell said. “We need to get these girls tournament experience.”

Kate Shuman, Maddison Myers, Savannah Latham, Alyssa Holland and Dannette Vensal will all compete for varsity spots this season.


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