Lady Bears get blown away on the links

Dolores girls golf battles 40-mph winds at Conquistador Golf Course

Kiseyla Plewe watches her shot on the fourth hole of Conquistador Golf Course on April 16, during the Southwestern League Championships. The Dolores freshman placed second overall in the tournament.

CORTEZ - The Dolores High School golf team got its first taste of a championship tournament.

With the howling 40-mph wind April 16, at Conquistador Golf Course, that taste was a mouth full of dust.

The wind blew shots into the rough and pushed putts away from the hole for the Lady Bears.

Coach Dee Wyman's young squad couldn't quite handle the weather elements. Dolores finished Round 2 of the Southwestern League Championships with a team score of 308, which was up from 295 April 15, at Hillcrest Golf Club in just slightly breezy Durango.

Dolores' two-day score of 603 was good for seventh-place in the tourney. Still not a bad feat for a first-year program and Wyman was satisfied with her team considering the elements.

"I think it's a mental battle of where your shot's going to go," said Wyman about golfing in the strong winds. "I think most of these girls, who are competing, have been competing for a while. They seem to know how to deal with the wind with their shots. But I think the wind just kind of zaps a little of the energy out of you and just sort of discourages people."

Freshman Kiseyla Plewe took second overall, shooting 77 at Durango and 82 in Cortez for a total of 159. She fell one stroke behind league champ Kala Keltz, of Montrose, who shot 77 and 81 for a score of 158. Montrose won the team title with a stellar total of 509 (261, 248).

Plewe was the Round 1 medalist at Durango with her season best 77. She tied with Keltz and then won a tiebreaker playoff to claim gold. Plewe took silver overall and shot an eagle on No. 10 at Conquistador. But the freshman was greatly challenged on the rest of the back nine.

"It was crazy on the back nine," Plewe said. "Dirt in your face and trying to hit it on the green, was really hard. I made a couple really good putts on the back nine. My chipping was key today. I didn't shoot that well. But without my chipping, it would have been a lot worse."

The Lady Bears finished up their regular season in state. They'll play in a tourney Monday and Tuesday, April 29-30, at San Juan Golf Club in Farmington, N.M. Dolores travels to Monticello, Utah, on May 6-7, before heading to the 4A Western Slope Regionals at Carbondale.

Plewe has her eyes on the big prize of qualifying for state in May. She feels she is still on par to do so.

"If I play my game and shoot what I'm able (to shoot), then I'll definitely be able to make it to state," Plewe said. "I feel very capable."

Kaitlyn Howerton shot 100 and 108 (208). Montezuma-Cortez senior Rachel Rime shot 118 both days for a combined score of 236 to round out Dolores' team total. Keyana Matteson and Annika Strunce also competed for the Lady Bears.

"I felt like it was a good experience for them," Wyman said. "It was a great opportunity to get out here and not have to travel for it. I know that they had a little more struggle today. But I think overall, it was impressive to see that they could hold it together those two days in a row. They did really well."

Grand Junction Central took second, shooting 546. The rest of the SWL team scores were Grand Junction, 557; Durango, 575; Rifle, 581; Palisade, 583; and, Fruita Monument, 611.

Dolores' Kaitlyn Howerton studies her putt on the second hole of Conquistador Golf Course on April 16. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Dolores' Kaitlyn Howerton studies her putt on the second hole of Conquistador Golf Course on April 16.