A 9-iron for a ‘Cloud 9’

Behind Kniffin’s hole-in-one, DHS girls golf takes 2nd

Brooke Kniffin expected a bogey. She got a hole-in-one instead.

On the ninth hole of Montrose’s Black Canyon, Kniffin hit a flat drive with a 9-iron from 127 yards out. The Durango High School girls golfer had no idea the ball had gone in until she walked up to the pin.

“It was really surprising,” Kniffin said. “It just hit the green and rolled right into the hole.”

That doesn’t happen very often.

“No, especially to a 17-year-old,” DHS head coach Kirk Rawles said. “So it was pretty exciting. She was just on Cloud 9.”

Kniffin led the Demons to a second-place finish, too, finishing with a 90 on Thursday. Haleigh Lyon followed with a 94, Natalie Lyon a 95, and Reily Waldo rounded out the under-100 Demons with a 98.

Durango finished second out of eight teams with a 279 behind Montrose’s 253. The Indians were led by medalist Kala Keltz and her 77.

Grand Junction Central finished third with 280, Palisade fourth with 282, and Fruita Monument was fifth with 290.

“I think it’s great,” Rawles said. “We’ve had four players shoot below 100 the first two rounds of the year ... so that’s an awesome start.”

Junior varsity golfer Jessica Pohlman dropped almost 30 strokes from her round Wednesday at Devil’s Thumb in Delta to finish with a 108, and Amanda Rydiger rounded out the Demons’ field with 110.

DHS will get a couple of weeks off before they play Bookcliff on April 1 and Tiara Rado on April 2 in Grand Junction.

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DHS also got a thumb’s up at Devil’s Thumb.

The Durango High School girls golf team took second behind Natalie Lyon’s career-best round in the Demons’ first day of golf this season at Devil’s Thumb on Wednesday in Delta.

Lyon’s 86 was good for fourth place.

“She played, again, the best round she’s ever had, and she definitely even left a few strokes out there with that,” Rawles said after Wednesday’s round.

Understandable, considering the only real golf practice the Demons have had yet this year was hitting a few balls at Dalton Ranch and a little bit of putting work at Hillcrest last week.

Taylor Walter of Rifle was the medalist with a 73, and Montrose won the day with a 240 team score.

Durango took second with a 274, just ahead of Grand Junction’s 281.

Kniffin shot a 92 for Durango – “one of her better rounds she’s ever had,” Rawles said – Haleigh Lyon shot a 96, Waldo a 97 and Rydiger a 108.

“To have four girls break 100 in the first round of the year leaves me fairly optimistic,” Rawles said.

Pohlman shot a 137.

“We’ll definitely need to work on the short game – chipping and putting,” Rawles said.

“They just got to put some miles in, now. Play some, go back and work on it; play and work on it.”

heraldsports@durangoherald.com