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Aspen golfers forced to rely on fundamentals

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Nothing like a hot start on the golf course.

The Aspen High School girls golf team pulled the clubs out of the bag and hit right down the middle in the first spring tournament of the season.

The Skiers, with a small squad of three golfers, won the scramble division at the Chipeta Kickoff Tournament, played at the Chipeta Golf Club, located south of Grand Junction.

Skiers Zara Iacono, Katherine Doherty and Christy Buchholz teamed to shoot a 65 at Chipeta, beating Moffat County by two strokes.

Fruita Monument’s No. 1 team was next at 70, followed by Fruita Monument’s No. 2 team at 71.

In team stroke play, Gunnison won the one-day tournament with a 229. Grand Junction was second at 232. Montrose finished third (236) and Fruita Monument was fourth (252).

Jennifer Ehmen, of Gunnison, led stroke play with a 69 while teammate Monica Elam shot a 74 for second place.

“These (Aspen) girls have been playing golf for a long time,” Aspen head coach Alden Richards said. “They’ve been in junior golf since they were very young. I’ve told them that for years. It makes a big difference in high school.”

He said their background in junior golf helped them take on the early challenge of the first tournament last weekend.

“They just had to rely on their fundamentals,” he said.

Richards said the Aspen High School golf team philosophy is to have each player compete in two or three varsity tournaments during the season.

“We stress schoolwork first and then golf,” Richards said.

Plus, he said, the nature of the spring schedule in Aspen requires flexibility with the girls golf team.

“With ex ed, spring break and finals, spring sports are the toughest,” Richards said.

“What we are striving for is to play well when we get to regionals,” the Aspen coach said.

Richards said the Skiers likely will modify their early schedule because of weather and testing plans.

He said he plans to take two seniors and a junior to Devils Thumb Golf Club in Delta for a tournament Tuesday.

The younger Aspen golfers, he said, will be taking CSAP tests that day.

Makaela Richards, Michelle Argeros and Audrey Sichel will make the trip to Delta for a one-round tournament.

Skiers also listed on the golf roster this year include Nikki Blizzard, Dolores Sharaf and Julia Budsey.

On March 18, the Skiers will play in another tournament hosted by Palisade High School. This time, the preps will play the Lincoln Park Golf Course in Grand Junction.

On March 19, Aspen will play in the Fruita Monument Invitational at Adobe Creek Golf Course.

Spring break is set to run March 23 through 31.

Aspen will play in back-to-back Grand Junction tournaments April 1 and 2. First, the Skiers will play at Bookcliff Country Club. On April 2, Aspen will play in the Central Invitational at Tiara Rado Golf Club, located at the base of Colorado National Monument in Grand Junciton.

Ex ed this year is scheduled for April 15 through 19.

Tournament play will resume April 24 with the Coal Ridge Invitational at Lakota Canyon in New Castle.

The Skiers will host their invitational April 25 at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale, their home course.

River Valley Ranch also will be the site of the Class 4A Regional Championships on May 6 and 7.

dstrode@aspentimes.com


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