Moffat County High School’s Colby Haddan chips onto the sixth green Thursday morning at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Sixteen teams competed in the tournament.

Photo by Ben Bulkeley

Moffat County High School’s Colby Haddan chips onto the sixth green Thursday morning at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Sixteen teams competed in the tournament.

MCHS golfers battle high winds at Yampa Valley

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MCHS freshman Taft Cleverly tees off on the 16th hole Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Cleverly shot a 107 at the Bulldogs’ only home tournament of the season. MCHS finished 12th out of 16 teams.

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Battle Mountain’s Michael Wilhelm takes a swing on the 10th hole Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Wilhelm, a sophomore, hit a hole-in-one on the seventh hole during the Moffat County High School boys varsity golf team’s home tournament.

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MCHS junior Ethan O’Mailia watches his shot soar Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. O’Mailia finished the tournament with a 101.

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MCHS junior Trey Jourgensen tees off on the seventh hole Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Jourgensen finished with a 104. He said strong winds impacted his score.

When Parker King was hitting the ball, all was well.

Until it hit the wind.

Golfing Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course during the Moffat County High School boys varsity golf tournament, golfers from 16 schools had to deal with high gusts throughout the day.

King, an MCHS junior, had the lowest score for the Bulldogs with a 94, but like his teammates, he said the wind made the day harder than it had to be.

“It went alright,” he said. “I was striking the ball well, but the wind would take it and do whatever it wanted.”

As a team, MCHS finished 12th with a 293 on its home course.

Although the day started with promise, junior Colby Haddan, who shot an 81 Wednesday at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs, said the wind made replicating that score almost impossible.

“My front nine was really good,” he said. “The back nine was rough. The wind started to pick up, and I couldn’t get anything going.”

Haddan finished at 98 on Thursday, which was second on the team to King’s 94.

“I think as it went on, it got worse,” King said. “In the morning, it was pretty good. But, the greens were way faster than they normally are.”

Junior Trey Jourgensen struggled with the wind all day, and finished with a 104.

“I think I had one good shot,” he said. “I chipped it in for a birdie on three.

“(The wind) affected all my high shots. Everything from 150-yards in, the wind just blew it around.”

Moffat County junior Ethan O’Mailia finished with a 101 and freshman Taft Cleverly finished with a 107.

Ken Harjes, MCHS head coach, said every team struggled with the wind, not just the Bulldogs.

“Obviously, there was a lot of wind, which made it tough,” he said. “I think we only had four golfers under 80 (for the tournament), which shows you just how tough it was.

“There are a lot of really talented golfers here, and they all had to go into the wind.”

But, the Bulldogs shouldn’t use the wind as an excuse, Harjes said.

“I think we need to work on our toughness,” he said. “Everyone had to deal with the wind, not just us.”

Fruita won the tournament with a team score of 244. Rifle and Battle Mountain tied for second with a score of 247.

Battle Mountain was aided by sophomore Michael Wilhelm, who hit a hole-in-one on the seventh hole.

“I hit it with my eight-iron,” Wilhelm said. “I wasn’t even sure if that was the right (club) to use.

“A kid I was golfing with said, ‘That’s in,’ and I didn’t believe him. I walked up and couldn’t find it, and I looked in the hole, and there it was. I was pumped.”

Wilhelm finished at 79, which was tied with Basalt’s Tristan Rohrbaugh for second best on the day. Rifle’s Triston Quigley was first overall with a 76.

Notes: Sophomore Zach Ahlmer led the MCHS junior varsity team with a 100… The MCHS golf team will next play Sept. 13 at Adobe Creek Golf Course in Fruita.

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