With all the focus on hosting a tournament and being familiar with the golf course, the Moffat County High School boys golf team found neither to be an advantage.
The Bulldogs placed 11th out of 16 teams Thursday at the Yampa Valley Golf Course, finishing with a team total of 271.
"I think the boys were pressing," coach Ken Harjes said. "They finally got a chance to get out and play a course that they are more comfortable with, but it just didn't happen today. I'm happy with the rounds by Nick Moyer and Sean Smith though.
Moyer carded an 88, Smith a 91.
"I had no control off the tee box, and my putting stunk," Moyer said.
Moyer had a solid round going until hole 14.
"I hit two consecutive approach shots into the water," he said. "All I was thinking of was trying to get it close, then I chunked it. Twice."
The next hole was different.
"I just put hole 14 out of my mind, and focused on parring the next one," he said.
That he did.
Smith tallied an 11 on the par four 12th hole, directly in front of Harjes.
"It was horrible," Smith said. "My tee shot went so far right, it almost ended up on the 11th green. I had to drop, then I had a nasty lie for an approach shot over the water."
With Harjes watching over the senior's next move, Smith went for it.
"I should have stopped him," Harjes said. "I'll take the fall for that one."
Smith deposited that shot, and two more, into the water.
"All I could do was laugh," Smith said. "It's only a game."
Taylor Branstetter posted a 92, Thomas Noble, 101, and Jake Steele was disqualified after picking up his ball in frustration after hitting his 10th shot on the sixth hole.
"I remember why I hate this game," Steele said. "I mean, love this game."
Harjes has two tournaments left to decide which four golfers will make the trip to regionals later this month.
"I'm looking for some kind of momentum," he said. "It's very hard to decide. It's totally up in the air right now."
Next up for the Bulldog golf team is a tournament in Aspen on Monday.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org