Bulldog golfers end season on a low note


Senior golfer Kaleb McKey was hoping for a shot at the state golf tournament -- unfortunately he won't get that chance.

McKey closed out his golfing career at Moffat County High School on a sour note, shooting a 96 at the Class 4A West Regional at Delta Devil's Thumb Golf Course on Wednesday.

"I got up to the first green, and I couldn't put the putter down," McKey said. "I was shaking so bad. I haven't been this nervous, ever."

Coach Ken Harjes said that McKey shot "horrible" on the front nine.

"When I saw him at the turn, he knew his high school career was over," Harjes said. "No matter how good he did on the back nine."

Nerves may have gotten the best of McKey, but sophmore Collin Jackson proved he's going to be a force in the coming years. Leading the Bulldogs with an 88, Jackson sat just six shots out of making the qualifying cut.

"The last four holes were bad," Jackson said. "There was no way to predict where the ball would go."

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their last holes were played in driving rain and fierce wind.

"It was a tough day," Harjes said. "It started off nice, but it ended terrible. With five holes to go, the wind picked up and then it started raining. It was brutal."

Harjes and many other coaches were waiting for officials to call a delay in the tournament -- but the call never came.

Devil's Thumb is notorious for being a technical course, with tough shots on nearly every hole. The No. 10 tee is one of the most difficult, but it was where the Bulldogs would have to start their day.

"They all got off the No. 10 tee good," Harjes said of his team. "Bryce (Ponikvar) birdied it."

The birdie for Ponikvar was a bright spot in his season, after a rough start. He finished the day shooting a 91.

"Bryce played better," Harjes said. "But he was disappointed."

Playing a practice round the day before was meant to be helpful, but because of the weather, Jackson said it didn't help enough.

"It helped some knowing what the distances were, but because of how bad the wind was and the difference in pin placement, there wasn't much benefit," Jackson said.

Junior Sean Smith also had a tough day on the links, shooting a 96.

Like McKey, Smith played his best golf during the Yampa Valley Golf Course Club Cham--pionships, but couldn't put together the great round he had been hoping for all season.

Harjes said that it was a disappointing way to end the season, mostly because of the weather, but that it was no excuse, because everyone else played in it too.

"We played where we have been most of the year," Harjes said. "So I was happy with that. It's too bad we couldn't have snuck one in though."

The state tournament will take place beginning Oct. 2 at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs. The two-day tournament will include 24 teams and about 85 golfers from six regions.

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