GREELEY — Adara Pauluhn received some sage advice going into Monday’s all-or-nothing Class 4A Northern Regional Tournament at Boomerang Golf Course.
“My swing coach in Denver was talking to me about it and he basically said don’t focus on winning, just focus on every shot,” she said. “And that is what I was trying to do.”
The links style layout in Greeley is usually apt to surrendering to really good scores, but on a day that was cold and damp, scoring on the 5,500-yard layout was a little tougher — especially with the wet rough and still recovering aerated greens that were a little bumpy.
Nonetheless, Pauluhn will gladly take her 4-over 76, which was good for a one-shot victory over Mountain View’s Kylee Tokoi and by two over former Skyline teammate and now Silver Creek Raptor Erin Sargent.
The two-day Class 4A state tournament will start on Monday, May 18 at Carbondale’s River Valley Ranch Golf Club.
The Boise State-bound Pauluhn, playing in the lead group along with Sargent, had to battle the elements a little more on her outward nine — the side where scoring is a little easier — and after a bogey on No. 1, carded eight straight pars to turn in 1-over 37.
The only hiccup on an otherwise flawless day was on the short 115-yard par-3 No. 12, where a double bogey sent her to 4-over for her round. The lone birdie of the day came on the par-3 16th.
“I’m not disappointed with it, but I know I could have done a lot better,” said Pauluhn, who will be joined at state by teammate Claire McPeak. “I was missing a lot of putts that I shouldn’t have been missing, especially on the last five holes where I think I missed all my birdie putts that were within 10 feet.
“I feel like I was hitting it well, but other than that, my putting was off today.”
Sargent was put to the mental test right away. A triple bogey on the opening hole changed the complexion of the round quickly, but she was able to limit the damage and turned in 4-over 40.
“I tried to put it behind me and keep moving forward, focusing on every shot,” Sargent said. “On the back nine, I turned it around and made a lot of pars. I had a couple of three putts that cost me, but I feel like I recovered well.”
Like a majority of the players that will play in Carbondale, Sargent knows very little about the state track. She is planning to head up on Saturday and Sunday to play a few practice rounds and get a feel for the course and make the necessary adjustment to the different altitude.
“I’m just really going to try and get a feel for the course and know where I want to hit it and have a good game plan,” Sargent said. “It’ll be a good experience that is for sure.”
The Tri-Valley League champs from Skyline came in with high hopes after a wonderful regular season. League player of the year Laci Williams started out well, rode the bogey train for a few holes in the middle of the round before finally righting the ship to card a handy 10-over par 82 that was good enough for a sixth-place tie.
It was something that Williams needed at the regional round after a transfer from Standley Lake last season left a bad taste in her mouth.
“I’ve ha d a lot of fun this year, just going out and playing for my team and the bus ride here is always a big pump-up session,” said Williams, who will be joined at state by Grace Gunlikson, who snuck in with a 93. “Just playing for fun.”
Erie, playing its first season at the varsity level, finished 12th in the team race and was paced by Jordan Couper’s 104.
CLASS 4A NORTHERN REGIONAL
At Boomerang Links GC (par 72)
Team scores — Northridge 261, Niwot 272, Thompson Valley 273, Skyline 282, Estes Park 289, Silver Creek 295, Mountain View 304, Berthoud 304, Fort Morgan 316, Windsor 318, Wray 329, Erie 333, Strasburg 335, Roosevelt 358, Centaurus 365, Resurrection Christian 367, Yuma 401, Holyoke no score.
Top individuals (state qualifiers) — 1. Adara Pauluhn, Niwot, 76; 2. Kylee Tokoi, Mountain View, 77; 3. Erin Sargent, Silver Creek, 78; T4. Lauren Cruz, Northridge, 79; T4. Colleen Casey, Estes Park, 79; T6. Aryn McLaughlin, Thompson Valley, 82; T6. Laci Williams, Skyline, 82; 8. Molli Boruff, Berthoud, 85; 9. Taylor Axelson, Thompson Valley, 86; 10. Caitlyn Olson, Northridge, 87; 11. Claire McPeak, Niwot, 88; 12. Alyssa Rios, Fort Morgan, 91; T13. Bailey Reed, Wray, 93; T13. Grace Gunlikson, Skyline, 93; 15. Jayden Muro, Windsor, 94; 16. Emma Moser, Northridge, 95; 22. (via team) Alli Brown, Northridge, 102.
Other Niwot results — Rosie Setter 108; Keena Strope 108.
Other Skyline results — Hailey Fredrickson 107; Emily LeMasters 129.
Other Silver Creek results — Dana Dwyer 107; Jessica Burnett 110; Amelia Haines 123.
Erie results — Jordan Couper 104; Taylour Hayes 111; Janna Vanlone 118; Sophie Arnold 145.
Centaurus results — Brie Nickal 119; Amaya Cox 126; Katie Strohl 126; Jessie Huth 140.