Crook County girls golf wins IMC to clinch state tournament berth
The Crook County High School girls golf team saved their best tournament of the year for when it really counted.
Hosting the final Intermountain Conference tournament of the year, the Cowgirls needed a win to earn automatic qualification into the state tournament as league champions. That is exactly what they did, posting a 407 team total at the tournament, which was held Monday, May 2, at Meadow Lakes Golf Course in Prineville. The score was the best score the Cowgirls have had all year, and it was good enough for the team to win by 24 strokes, guaranteeing Crook County a trip to the state tournament. The Cowgirls were able to post their lowest score of the season despite playing in less-than-ideal conditions, with wind gusts approaching 30 miles per hour.
"It was a great day for the Cowgirls," said Crook County head coach Sarah Shinkle. "The weather was not ideal golf weather, but our team came to play today and were excited about playing at home for our last IMC tournament. I am excited to go to state and see where we end up."
Finishing second to the Cowgirls was Ridgeview with a round of 431. They were followed by Redmond (436), Pendleton (474), Hood River Valley (508) and The Dalles (582). Although not a member of the IMC, La Pine also played in the tournament and placed seventh overall with a score of 624.
Individually, Elizabeth Richardson of Redmond took medalist honors with a round of 87. Ridgeview's Kristen Nelzen and Mya Oaks finished second and third, respectively, with scores of 91 and 98.
Crook County then showed their team depth as Merritt O'Gorman finished fourth with a round of 98, Haylee Noland fifth with a score of 102, McKenzie Jonas sixth with a round of 103, and Sawyer McDonald eighth with a score of 104.
The final Cowgirl to play in the varsity portion of the tournament was Natalie Stefanek, who finished 25th with a score of 131. Three other Cowgirls played in the tournament, with Emma Daniels posting a round of 132, Mattee Simmons scoring 160 and Aspen Gunderson finishing with a 166.
With the league championship in hand, the Cowgirls get to skip the regional tournament at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland. Instead, they advance straight to the state tournament, which will be held May 16-17 at Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell.
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