Bottom of the cup

Bulldogs close out 2006 golf season, head to Rifle on Wednesday for regional tournament


Although the 2006 season has had its ups and downs for the Bulldog golf team, Wednesday's regional contest in Delta could be the last for one golfer.

Senior Kaleb McKey doesn't want his season to be over, but if his game doesn't come together Wednesday it may be the case.

"I'm not nervous," McKey said. "My game is what it is. There are going to be some pressure shots that I'm going to have to hit."

McKey said it's surreal. Although it's his senior year, it hasn't struck him yet that his high school golf career could be coming to a close.

"Qualifying for state has been my goal since I started high school golf," McKey said. "Even if I feel a lot of pressure, I'm going to have to put it aside. I want to keep this memory as long as I can."

The course at Delta is one of the toughest courses the Bulldogs have played all season. They played there Aug. 30, and coach Ken Harjes said the benefit of playing it earlier in the season will help the team.

"They are hitting the ball well," Harjes said. "I think we're playing as well right now as we have all year."

Harjes has selected McKey, sophomore Collin Jackson, and juniors Sean Smith and Bryce Ponikvar to represent Moffat County at the regional tournament, and each golfer has the potential to play a great round of golf.

"They have the right temperament and concentration," Harjes said.

The boys will have a practice round today, with a chance to play the Devil's Thumb Golf Course in Delta one more time before they get down to business. For Harjes, it's one of the final chances he has to spend time with his team and help fine tune their games.

Ponikvar, who has struggled this season, is ready to have a breakout round.

"I'm starting to hit better," Ponikvar said. "I played bad for the last month."

Ponikvar said that when he starts to play poorly, he takes a few days off to collect himself. This is his second regional tournament and after shooting 90 last year, he hopes to drop his score significantly.

Smith, the other junior going to regionals, has been coming on strong in the past few tournaments and hopes to qualify for the state tournament in Steamboat Springs.

"I still have one good tournament left," Smith said. "I have to work for the rest."

Smith said he is nervous for his first regional tournament on Wednesday.

Jackson has been the Bulldogs' most consistent player this season. He said he's excited to play in regionals but won't feel bad if he doesn't make the state cut.

"I still have two years left," Jackson said. "And I want to make the last two good."

The Bulldogs tee off Wednesday morning at the Devil's Thumb Golf Course in Delta.

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