Tuesday’s regional golf tournament saw a bogey and a birdie for Moffat County High School boys golf coach Ken Harjes. While altogether the team placed 11th out of 11 participating teams — the bogey — the birdie made up for it.
The birdie was the 3rd place ranking for junior Parker King, who shot a score of 77, making him a state qualifier. King is the first MCHS golfer to qualify for the state level since Cody DeGuelle in 2002.
“This is a really big deal,” Harjes said of his player. “Only 14 individuals go to State from the Western Slope.”
This is the second personal goal King has reached during the season, the first being named to first team all-conference.
“I feel pretty awesome because I’ve worked pretty much all summer for this,” he said. “I just want to go to state and shoot a lit bit below what I’m doing now.”
Montezuma-Cortez won the regionals tournament with a combined score of 229.The tournament’s location, Montrose’s Cobble Creek Golf Course, was a return for King, who shot a 70 at the course Sept. 2.
“The last time there was definitely easier,” King said. “I don’t think the greens were in good shape. They were pretty rough.”
King said the wind at regionals was noticeable, as well, though it didn’t bother him.
“We’re used to playing in the wind at home,” he said.
Harjes said King played just as well as he had expected.
“He was using his driver really well, and he had a lot of good bunker shots,” Harjes said. “There were several coaches who said he really deserved to qualify.”
Harjes said the rest of the MCHS participants gave a strong effort, but were unable to come out on top.
“I really didn’t think we’d be finishing in the top three,” he said.
Junior Trey Jourgensen shot a 107, junior Colby Haddan a 108 and junior Ethan O’Mailia was forced to withdraw, leaving the team with an overall score of 292.
“These guys tried hard but just didn’t play well,” Harjes said.
Haddan said he was disappointed with his high score, about 20 strokes off from his target of 88.
“I was just not playing the ball very well,” he said. “I hit it out of bounds, hit it in the water. I think we’ll all need to work on stuff over the summer.”
Jourgensen, who was the only member of the golf team besides King to have previously competed in regionals, said his day on the course was just like the rest of his year, starting off well but ending poorly.
“The front nine wasn’t horrible, but the back nine was bad,” he said. “I just made a lot of stupid mistakes.”