Air Academy golfers start hectic week with individual, team wins at Cougar Classic

April 25, 2013
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With three league golf tournaments scheduled in the next three school days, Air Academy had plenty of reasons to skip the annual Cougar Classic Invitational on Thursday at Kissing Camels Club.

Then again, with the recent wrath of winter weather keeping teams from practicing, let alone playing with any regularity, the Kadets jumped at the chance to get outside and work on their game.

Freshman Kelsey McKenna led the field with an 80, while senior teammate Katie Ryall carded an 84, as Air Academy claimed the team championship by 21 strokes over Pine Creek.

“We were all really excited to get out and play,” McKenna said. “We have a lot of golf ahead of us, but I think we’ll be ready.”

McKenna bested Pine Creek junior Mary Kate Nelson by one shot. Doherty’s Brittany Clark and Palmer sophomore Karlye Enkler, who won the Lady Spartan Invitational on April 8, both shot rounds of 88 to round out the top five.

“I definitely need to shoot better, but it’s nice to get out,” said Nelson, who finished one shot off the individual lead for the second time. “It’s a nice feeling to get out and finally hit. When you practice indoors, you don’t know where the ball is going.”

On Friday, Air Academy joins 24 other teams at the Kadet Invitational at Eisenhower Golf Course, a tournament originally scheduled for April 19. Monday brings the Scorpion Invitational at Springs Ranch Golf Club, an event that was snowed out April 9.

The Pikes Peak Athletic Conference season concludes Tuesday with a round at Kings Deer Golf Course in Monument.

“This is by far, the most crowded the tournaments have been,” Kadets coach Judy Bogard said. “It’s back to back to back. There’s no time to practice.”

Ryall, who earlier this year accepted an appointment to Navy, had a tough time explaining her rash of absences to her teachers. And the senior isn’t taking it easy as she finishes out her high school days; she’s in four advanced placement classes and advanced Spanish.

“My chemistry teacher asked me if I was serious about being gone that much,” Ryall said. “I was told I’d have to make up the final. All these tournaments in a row is making things harder, and I’m doing lots of homework these days.”

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