Mark Dockstader knows that sometimes, what can go wrong on a golf course will.
On July 13, he found out that sometimes, by some stroke, those opportunities will swing the other way — the ball will tip into the cup, the putt won’t fall short, the sand trap will be missed altogether.
The incoming Moffat County High School senior had a day where little went wrong, and the bounces went his way.
During the second day of the 57th annual Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Western Cham-
pionship golf tournament, Dockstader had a day where little went wrong and was able to tie for third place with a combined scored of 152.
Even the shots that looked doomed found a way home, Dockstader said.
“There was a hole where I hit a really good shot on a par four,” he said. “It was my second shot in, and it looked like it was going towards the green. But, it nicked a tree, bounced off a rock in this little creek and bounced back into play.
“I didn’t have a great chip, but it was 20 feet from the pin, and I made that putt. That’s when I knew it was my day.”
His first day, Dockstader had a score of 82 at Bookcliff Golf Course in Grand Junction.
His second day, however, he shot 70, which was the lowest score of his life.
“My best before that was last year,” he said. “I shot a 77 five times.
“I knew I could break through — my game is much better. My short game is better, it was just a matter of breaking through.”
The tournament was part of the Colorado Junior Golf Association’s 16- to 18-year-old division.
“I’ve played in a lot of those tournaments this summer,” Dockstader said. “They have some of the best players from around the state.”
Dockstader was one of 41 golfers competing at the July 12 and 13 tournament at Bookcliff Golf Course and Tiara Rado.
“I had some unbelievable putts, saved a lot of pars and made four birdies,” he said. “Pretty much everything was going well that day.”
As he prepares for his last season of high school golf, Dockstader said his strong summer performance has hel-
ped him gear up for another run at the state tournament.
“I know I’m capable of it,” he said. “I always knew I was. Now I have some proof and I will never look back.”
During last fall’s district tournament at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs, a 73 was the lowest score.
With that in mind, Dockstader said he plans to aim for a score in the low 70s every time.
The ability to keep his nerves in check will help him achieve that goal, Dockstader said.
“During that round, I thought I could keep it around 73, 74,” he said. “I was nervous, but I kept hitting good shots.
“It was supernatural — I kept playing solid the whole time, even through the nerves.”