As far as season openers go, the Elizabeth Invitational was a win-win for Evergreen’s girls golf program. For one, it’s been a long time coming that the Lady Cougars actually got to set foot on the Spring Valley Golf Course and play and, two, Madison Tenney is already playing at midseason form.
The Evergreen senior carded a 79, finishing third by just one stroke behind Grandview’s Morgan Sahm and Dakota Ridge’s Sydney Merchant, and the Lady Cougars finished sixth in an 11-team field with 269 points. Grandview won the team title with 246 points, Dakota Ridge was second with 252, and Legend took third with 259 points.
“You never know (what to expect), since we didn’t get to get out a whole lot (in the preseason). Who knows what’s going to happen, but I was plenty surprised by not only what I saw but the scores posted,” Evergreen head coach Mike Kuzava said. “Madison played well, probably even surprising herself a little bit with a 79. Freshman Natalie Holley also played well. She really had an impressive swing considering it was really windy. She had a nice birdie on the 14th hole. She’s going to be an asset. She’s probably starting out as well or better than any freshman we’ve had for the girls in quite a while.”
Holley finished with a 94. Throw in senior Emily Rivers, who shot a 96, and that trio should make up Evergreen’s top three this season, Kuzava said. Sophomore Katherine Halama, who is just getting her feet wet, is coming along as well. She rounded out the Evergreen scoring with a 119.
“She had some really good holes and some holes to learn from,” Kuzava said. “For her first time out, she was a little rusty, but even with a game as difficult as golf, there were a lot of things to be excited about.”
Kuzava was glad that Evergreen got to play in this year’s tournament. The Lady Cougars have tried to play in the invitational for the past four seasons, but the last three years, it has been snowed out. This year, the only weather element playing havoc was the wind.
The season’s start is a promising one, especially considering Evergreen has just nine players after a few defected prior to the start of the season, and, up until the Elizabeth tournament, the team hadn’t strung together more than nine holes due to the weather.
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.