Girls golfers endure roster changes and miserable weather to produce respectable numbers in conference competition

GRESHAM - The Sandy girls golf team had every reason to wave the white flag at Gresham Golf Course on Wednesday April 11.

Inclement weather made playing conditions downright miserable, and Sandy coach Molly Nealy was forced to juggle the Pioneers' starting lineup due to factors beyond her control.

Still, the resilient Pios fought through the rain and slop and ultimately did their coach proud.

'I'm very pleased that we're ahead of Centennial with our revamped lineup,' Nealy said as the tournament neared its end.

Leading the way for the Pioneers was talented freshman Dalton Meade, who finished with a team-best score of 104, including a mark of 50 on the course's slightly more difficult back nine.

Meade indicated she had no problems playing in the swampy conditions, and she probably had her most efficient moments on the No. 14 hole, where she nailed a par-4.

Additionally, Meade was only one over par on hole No. 13, which Gresham coach Scott Shields described as the most difficult hole on the entire course.

Shields' niece, Jordan Shields, finished third for the Pioneers with a score of 129, dishing out a solid 63 on the back nine.

Becky Van Ausdell also represented the Pioneers well, finishing second to Meade with a mark of 111.

Danielle Behrends helped round out Sandy's top four marks with a score of 135.

'The front nine was way better than the back nine,' Behrends said. 'Because on the back nine, the weather started to turn and it wasn't easy.'

Weather also forced the girls to don extra clothing for the day, and the cumbersome gear obstructed their movement a little bit, Sandy assistant coach Erin Payton noted.

St. Mary's took home top team honors for the third time this season, producing a final score of 339.

Barlow's Megan Miller golfed the lowest individual score for the second week in a row, and unlike last week at Rose City, Miller didn't have to share top honors with Hood River's talented Sandra Jefferies.

Miller also bounced back from self-described putting problems the previous week.

'Oh yeah,' she said. 'It was definitely better. I was making the putts that I needed to. There was a couple of times I was up for a bogey and I had like a five-footer and I made it.'

A few girls thought the weather was a non-issue, but the course itself offered a few interesting challenges all by its lonesome.

Circumventing the pond on hole No. 3 was no easy task, and getting the par-4 on the club's pesky 13th hole proved difficult.

Still, the Pioneers continued to make progress despite a shuffled lineup, and Sandy nearly crept past Centennial (466) with a final team score of 479.

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