By Scott Stocker
For the Courier
LAKEWOOD — Evergreen’s Madison Tenney’s golf ball went swimming twice in the May 6 Class 4A Metro West Regional golf meet at Fox Hollow Golf Club. Had that not happened, she might have well finished fifth among the tournaments 76 contestants.
Instead, Tenney came through with an 81, still good enough for sixth in the meet. The only regret she had was that she was the only player from Evergreen to qualify for the 4A state tournament. State will be contested May 20-21 at the Broken Tree Golf Course in Englewood.
Evergreen, coached by Mike Kuzava, shot a team total 427. But only the top three players count toward their team scores so the Lady Cougars finished the team competition with a 310. Teammates Emily Rivers shot 113, Avery Halminiak 116 and Katherine Halama 117.
Conifer also competed in the 13-team regional, but the Lady Lobos, coached by Larry Fitzmaurice, failed to advance the team or any individuals to state, finishing 10th with 358 strokes. Ashley Brown tallied a 107, Greta Gohring shot 114 and Hannah Munro 137 to round out the team scoring. Freshman Lizzy Ainsworth shot a 153.
Jefferson Academy’s Jennifer Kupcho was the top medalist as she fired a 67. Valor Christian came through as the region team champion with a score of 234. Colorado Academy placed second with a 273 total.
“I think it went well and I’m excited about being able to go to state,” Tenney said. “I’ve been chipping and putting well the last few weeks. I only had one three-putt green today, the fifth hole. I only went in the water twice today – once on my first hole and again on my last hole. I just want to go out and get in some good practice on the state course this week and do well to represent my school and my teammates.”
“It was what I expected today,” Kuzava said. “Maddie did what she should do. She is just maturing each time out and she just continues to get better and it has been neat to see her just get better right before our eyes. She has come so far. She is taking a hold of her game and believes she can get the job done.”
Rivers, Halminiak and Halama all felt they played just about as well as they could over a course that most of the players and coaches felt had slow greens.
“Today, I started out rough, but it has been a good season for me,” Rivers said. “I haven’t played this course before and I just need to be more accurate, not worry about getting the home run, so to speak. I need more of the doubles and keep calm. But I thought today was OK and I did my best to keep my cool, and I came out to play the best I could.”
“I had a good time, some good drives and chips,” Halminiak added. “I certainly wish I could have shot better. This is my first experience at a regional and I tried not to let others bother me. I just wanted to worry about my own game.”
Halama added, “I played OK, but the nerves got to me a bit. I’m glad to have this experience as it will help me to improve for next year. I was able to keep my drives flat today and that’s fine. I also felt fine on most of my chips and happy with my short game. My putting needs a lot of work, though.”