Bulldog golfers put in average performance

The Moffat County golf team had an average day at the Western Slope Regional tournament that it hosted Wednesday.

All year, the Bulldogs had averaged near the 250s as a team. They also had averaged a finish near the middle of the pack every tournament.

Both of those averages were the case at the Yampa Valley Golf Course.

"I guess we're a 250 team," said junior Shawn Brookshire, who shot an 83. "I'm not completely unhappy, but I'm a little disappointed in myself."

The only time the Bulldogs broke out of the 250 and middle-of-the-pack finish mold this season was at the tournament at the YVGC two weeks ago. Their hope was that the same thing would happen at the regional tournament.

But senior Kyle Wilson was the only Bulldog to golf better than he did two weeks ago.

"I can't complain about my round," he said about his 83.

It was his second best round of the season.

The same couldn't be said for senior Zach Haddan. His 87 was unsatisfactory in his eyes.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "I had 11 pars and then seven really bad holes. I usually shoot near a 77 here."

The Bulldogs finished 10th out of 21 teams with a score of 253. Steamboat Springs shot a 226 to win the tournament. Sailor senior Paul Berry won a playoff against Aspen's Teddy Karlinski for the regional title. They tied with a 70 to force the playoff.

"We've been playing right around that score all year," coach Ken Harjes said. "I'm not really sure what the difference is between our 238 here earlier this year and a 253. I think some of it had to do with nerves."

Wilson was the only golfer to have played in a regional tournament before. Sophomore Bryce Ponikvar admitted that nerves got to him several times.

"I was thinking too much, and I played a little stiff," he said about his round of 90. "More trees got in my way today."

It wasn't necessarily nerves but self-imposed pressure that got to Brookshire.

"I had set expectations, and other people had talked to me about shooting another 76," he said about his score during the regular-season tournament at YVGC. "I guess I let myself down."

Harjes didn't see Brookshire's performance as one to be let down about.

"His stroke average this year was an 84.9," he said. "He was above that."

The first nine holes were tough on Haddan. He made the turn at 45, but Harjes was impressed with his senior's attitude.

"He looked at me and said, 'I have my work cut out for me,'" Harjes said. "He didn't say anything negative, he was positive and knew he had to play better. I was really proud of Zach for what he did this year."

The tournament was the fourth consecutive in which the Bulldogs haven't qualified someone for state.

"I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get to give someone that experience," Harjes said. "But I had a great time with these guys all year, and it's always hard to see the seniors play their final round."

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