Golf team has one low round in Rifle

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That was what the Moffat County High School boys golf team members told coach Ken Harjes to say to the media after their round at Rifle Creek Golf Course on Wednesday.

At least that is what four of the five golfers said. Junior Andy Sperl carded a round of 80, which was good enough for a tie for 12th out of 78 golfers.

"Andy said he was going to play without any emotion today," Harjes said. "If he hit a great shot, fine, if he hit a bad shot, fine."

Apparently, the approach worked. Sperl shot 39 on the front and 41 on the much more difficult back nine.

"Andy had seen the course before, and he knew a little bit what to expect," Harjes said. "I had no idea he was playing so well, so it was a pleasant surprise."

The not-so-pleasant part was the rest of the scores from Sperl's teammates.

Sophomore Bryce Ponikvar and senior Zach Haddan made up the rest of the team score with rounds of 90. Junior Kaleb McKey shot a 92, and junior Evan Hertzog had a 98.

The team score of 260 put the team in 13th place out of 16.

"You look at a team like Rangely that finished fourth, and that was because they had one guy shoot a 72," Harjes said. "We can play with Rangely, we just didn't have that one really low score."

McKey said his round was tarnished by one really high score.

"On the 14th, I really lost it," he said. "I lost three balls on the hole and had to take a 10," he said. "The course played tough, but we really didn't play it well at all."

With only 11 scores in the 70s. Harjes agreed that the scores were high Wednesday. At the same time, he didn't expect his team to shoot 10 shots above what it had Monday.

"We just don't have the experience of playing on other courses right now," he said. "I'll never be able to explain this even to myself, but on our home course, our guys will hit a drive 150 out and chip to the green. Then, on another course, they'll hit the exact first shot and have a horrible shot on the approach."

That described McKey's round perfectly.

"I was good off the tee, but I didn't hit one green from 90 or 100 out today," he said. "I'll be working a lot on my short game the rest of the week."

A younger group of Bulldogs will head to Glenwood on Monday, and a varsity group will play in Cortez on Wednesday and Durango on Aug. 25. The top five Bulldog golfers are far from being decided.

"We'll even have a different mix in Durango than we did this week," Harjes said. "I have little idea if we had our best five out there today."

Rangely's Kris Huitt won the individual title with a round of 72, and the team winner was Fruita Monument with a 236.

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