Bearcats' Moore signs golf letter with Metro State
     2013-11-21      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen - Scotsbluff senior Kim Moore, center, signs her national letter of intent to play golf at Metropolitan State University of Denver during a Nov. 13 ceremony at Scottsbluff High School board room. Seated with Moore are her parents, Kristi and Bob Moore, with Scottsbluff golf coach Mike Klein guiding Moore on her signing.  
SCOTTSBLUFF — Four years ago, Scottsbluff senior Kim Moore would not have pictured herself signing a college golf scholarship on her 18th birthday.

Moore, who said she had never picked up a golf club until the start of her freshman year, culminated a successful rise in golfing success when on Nov. 13 she signed a letter of intent to play at Metropolitan State University of Denver, an NCAA Division II program that just began competing this year.

"Once I started and really got into it, I wanted to play college golf," said Moore, the daughter of Bob and Kristi Moore of Scottsbluff. "I really liked it and thought maybe if I worked hard enough that maybe I might be able to do this."

Indeed, every-day workouts and playing either outdoors or at the Field of Dreams facility paid off in a big way for Moore, who was sporting a bright red MSU Denver hoodie with the university's roadrunner logo during her signing in the Scottsbluff High School board room.

"She has worked really hard," said Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein, who saw Moore card the Bearcats' lowest individual total in their winning the Class B State Tournament In October in Lincoln.

"She started as a freshman and didn't have any idea what it was all about. For her to come that far this fast and sign a scholarship to play college golf I think is awesome."

Moore finished in 10th place at state as a senior, part of the Bearcats' sixth Class B state championship team in 11 seasons and first since 2010. Moore shot a two-day score of 175 at state and led Scottsbluff to the District B-4 title with her third-place, season-best score of 78.

"Toward the end of the season I started getting better and playing like I was capable of," Moore said.

Scottsbluff finished in third at state in 2012, when Moore earned a tie for 11th place as the Bearcats' only individual medalist. As a sophomore, Moore finished in a tie for 17th with classmate Megan Pilkington, and Scottsbluff garnered a third-place team finish as well.

"I think it has definitely been a good four years here and I am really looking forward to what is in my future," Moore said. "I am glad that I have the best coaches to work with and who wanted to work with me."

Moore said the decision to pick a young program, where she can personally grow and help the first-year Metro State golf team make strides as well, came relatively easily.

"I have always wanted to go somewhere in Colorado," said Moore, who played in the Colorado Golf Association and the Rocky Mountain junior tour during the summer months. "I went down there and visited, and there are just a lot more opportunities down there."

Klein said he and his brother Jeff have known Metro State coach Ben Portie for many years as a pro golfer who has helped coach at several universities in Colorado.

"He saw her play during the summer in Colorado, and after Kim showed interest and went and visited, she decided that would be a great place for her," Klein said of Portie's introduction to Moore.

And Portie is glad to have a player of Klein's for his fledgling program.

"We are very excited to have signed Kim and look forward to her joining us next fall," Portie said. "I know that she will make an impact for us right away, and I saw a lot of potential in Kim.

"She got a late start in golf terms, but that has kept her to have a strong desire to work hard, and improve rapidly. I know that she will come in as a good player and hopefully leave as an NCAA All-American with a degree in her hand."

Metro State is the largest part of Denver's downtown Auraria Campus, which includes the University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora Community College.

The Roadrunners are a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, which includes Chadron State College.

Other women's golf teams in the RMAC besides MSU Denver and Chadron State are Adams State University, Colorado Christian University, Colorado Mesa University and Western New Mexico University.

The Roadrunners play at two different courses in the Denver area, CommonGround Golf Course and Green Valley Ranch Golf Course. The RMAC has two fall tournaments, with the NCAA's primary season in the spring, with the RMAC Championship at the end of April.

"The girls drive anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to get to our golf courses. They are wonderful facilities and have made us feel very welcome."

Both Klein and Portie expressed interest in hoping that Moore is just the first of many Bearcat golfers who choose to play in the Roadrunner women's program. Metro State does not have men's golf.

"I have the most respect for the Klein brothers and know that Mike has done a wonderful job with the high school teams in Scottsbluff," Portie said. "That is one of the reasons that I have followed his programs and look to recruit future Metro State Roadrunners from Scottsbluff."

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