Walla wins 4th straight regional title
It wasn’t the storybook victory round she hoped for, but Aspen High senior Kristin Walla still dominated the Class 4A Western Slope Regional Girls Golf Tournament Tuesday at the Black Canyon Golf Course in Montrose.Entering as the three-time defending 4A Western Slope regional champion, dating back to her freshman season, Walla shot a 5-over-par 77 – and that after a cringe-worthy 9 on the par-4 18th – to complete a regional four-peat with a five-stroke victory.Jacy Reynolds of Glenwood Springs was the individual low medalist runner-up with an 82, and teammate Kammi Ivie finished in a three-way tie for third place at 89. Glenwood also captured the team title with a three-player combined score of 272. Moffat County was second at 290.
Ashley Fish, the only other Aspen player to finish 18 holes Tuesday, shot a 130. Aspen did not record a team finish because three players must card scores to do so.Walla had an even-par round going until she launched her drive out-of-bounds in a left-to-right wind from the 18th tee. Two bunkers later, and a two-putt, and Walla counted a stinging 9 on the hole.”I just totally blew my whole round on the last hole,” Walla said with a sigh yesterday. “I still won, so I guess that’s OK, but it was kind of a bummer.”I had it going good for a while there, though. Then I had a few bogies toward the end, but I don’t even know if I had any other double bogies up until the last hole.”
Still, Aspen coach Mary Woulfe called Walla’s performance “extremely dominant.””There was no question, Woulfe said. “The weather was difficult with high wind, and Jacy didn’t have her best day, but it was clear with Kristin going into 18 at even par who owned the day.”Walla, a three-time top-10 finisher at the Class 4A state championship (a two day, 36-hole affair), entered yesterday’s one-day regional tournament with a starting spot at states already assured. She is the No. 2 pre-qualifier for the state tourney, scheduled for May 23-24 at Gypsum’s Cotton Ranch.
And so the Walla four-peat was somewhat bittersweet, given the deflating finish.”It was weird. For most of the round, I felt like I was having a lot of lucky breaks. But I must have wasted all my luck, because everything went bad,” Walla said.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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