Bulldog golfers gaining ground

With just three weeks remaining in season, the Moffat County golfers are starting to get their swings in line for the regional tournament.

A ninth place team finish at Delta, 257, on Wednesday was an accomplishment head coach Ken Harjes happy with.

"It was a really good finish for us," Harjes said. "I think if we could have cut three strokes, we could have been in fifth place."

Harjes said the difficulty of the course was tough on everyone, but that his golfers weren't that far off from finishing better.

"It was good to finish like that at Delta," Harjes said.

The tournament at Delta was a benefit for all the teams in the area, because it is where regionals will be on Sept. 20.

Sophomore Collin Jackson led the Bulldogs on Wednesday with an 83 and senior Kaleb McKey wasn't far behind with an 85.

McKey, who had been struggling as of late, was on top of his game Wednesday and his hard work is starting to show.

"Kaleb had a couple of holes that hurt him," Harjes said.

McKey has spent time tweaking his swing and thinks that he's starting to pull his game together.

"I'm definitely getting off the tee and hitting the greens more consistent," McKey said.

But the big payoff for him was finishing one stroke out of second place on Thursday at Cedaredge.

"I thought Kaleb started playing well," Harjes said. "I saw more determination in his face. It was the Kaleb of last year."

Harjes noted that McKey had one hole on Thursday that took him for a ride.

"He did everything right, but on his third shot he hit it bad," Harjes said.

McKey nodded his head in agreement.

Harjes said that in order for his team to get to state, players are going to have to shoot at least a 79. He also thinks the weakest area of his team is in their chipping. But noted a steady improvement over the course of last week.

"I've watched these guys hit some great chip shots the last two days," Harjes said.

"The scores were high Thursday, but we still did what we needed to do to finish second."

The Bulldogs will head to Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday and Harjes thinks his team will feel a little more at home on the course that is nestled just 42 miles from Craig.

The links style course is wide open and leaves a lot of room for error.

"There are lots of areas to get lost in," Harjes said. "It plays long and the greens are enormous."

McKey knows that the course in Steamboat will play tough, but is ready for his best game.

"It's long and really demanding, you have to be a good player to score there," McKey said.

The Bulldogs will have 10 golfers competing at Haymaker, and tee time is set for 9 a.m.

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

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