Wildcats taking three golfers to state tourney
Tim Coit sees it as a good omen.
When the Fruita Monument High School golf team played one of its final practice rounds before leaving for the Class 5A state tournament, the Wildcats’ coach carded a hole-in-one at Adobe Creek National Golf Course.
He aced the par-3 sixth hole and figures it’s a good sign to go along with taking three players to the state tournament.
Jessica Sinner, Tymerie Ho and Summer Igo are the first Fruita Monument team to advance to state since 1996.
The tournament begins today at Commonground Golf Course in Aurora.
“We’ve have a lot of good players, but haven’t had a complete team since ‘96,” Coit said. “I thought we had a good team from the get-go, but we really started coming on after the Central tournament.”
Although the Wildcats didn’t win the Northern Regional, finishing third with a 258 behind Fort Collins and Skyline, Fruita Monument played steady enough to qualify three players. Amy Hurshman missed the cut by one stroke.
A school must have three players in the tournament to score team points.
Fruita Monument doesn’t rely on one player to card a low score, but rather relies on consistency. That trait showed at the regional. Sinner, a sophomore, is the Wildcats’ No. 1 player and finished with an 83. Ho wasn’t far behind at 86, and Igo came in at 89.
“We haven’t had that star kid, but we’ve had five or six players right there all year,” Coit said. “It helps having a good nucleus to make it more competitive and always get the best kids.”
Sinner tees off at 9:42 a.m. on hole No. 1 with Heritage’s Kristin Kempton and Poudre’s Ana Summers.
Ho, a senior, is in the next group on No. 1 , teeing off at 9:51 a.m., and Igo, a junior, tees off at 10 a.m., again off the first tee.
“It’s pretty cool that more than one person made it this year,” said Ho, who’s in her first state tournament. “It’s nice to have the moral support.”
Jordan Tufly might start a tad slow, but the Tigers’ junior knows when it’s time to buckle down.
Tufly qualified for the state tournament for the second straight season by shooting an 87 at the Northern Regional.
“It takes her a little longer to get her swing going, but once she does, her game is right there,” Grand Junction coach Kevin LaDuke said. “She plays the greens well and has been hitting better shots all the time.”
Last year, Tufly finished tied for 62nd with a 189. LaDuke said she’s much more prepared for state this year.
“Her mental game is a lot stronger,” LaDuke said. “She’s thinking about her shots, planning out the course, and the other thing is, if she has an errant shot her recovery has really started to improve.”
Tufly will be joined at state by teammate Jordan Fellhauer. The senior was Grand Junction’s No. 1 player all season and finished tied for fifth at regionals with an 82. Fellhauer made the state tournament as a sophomore but missed last season. She has used the disappointment of not going as a junior as a motivating factor.
“It made her stronger this year,” LaDuke said. “She came back incredibly strong and instead of letting it take her down, she’s used it to build herself back up.”
Fellhauer tees off at 8:48 a.m. on No. 10, and Tufly starts at 9:06 a.m. on No. 10.
The Bulldogs’ lone competitor at the 4A state golf tournament at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose is Sam Blair. The sophomore finished fourth in the Western Regional in Craig by shooting a 90. That sets her up to tee off at 9:33 a.m. on No. 10.
Other Western Slope players in the tournament are Heather Nicholson, Nike Cleverly, Callie Papoulas, and Makayla Camilletti, all of Moffat County; Taylor Walters and Allison Powell of Rifle, Kala Keltz of Montrose, Dessa Markley of Delta, Kelsey Warkentin, and Stephanie Wilson of Glenwood Springs and Arly Landry of Gunnison.