Senior Jake Bingham hits from the driving range at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Bingham and the Moffat County High School boys golf team played four tournaments in the first eight days of their season, and now have time to work on their swing before the next tournament Aug. 28.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Senior Jake Bingham hits from the driving range at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Bingham and the Moffat County High School boys golf team played four tournaments in the first eight days of their season, and now have time to work on their swing before the next tournament Aug. 28.

A slow start

Boys golf taking a break after busy week

Schedule …

MCHS boys varsity golf upcoming schedule

8/28 at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction

8/29 at Devil’s Thumb Golf Club in Delta

9/5 at Yampa Valley Golf Course

9/13 at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs

Quotable

“I’m very proud of the kids for the effort they’re putting in. We’ve gone to some tough golf courses that they’ve never seen before, and they’re sticking with it.”

—Casey Kilpatrick, MCHS boys golf coach, about his team’s performance so far this season

Losing four seniors from a small sports team can be debilitating.

For the Moffat County High School boys golf team, the loss of great golfers from 2011 showed over their first eight days of tournaments.

Four seniors led the way on the varsity team last season, with Parker King leading the way, shooting mostly in the 70s.

Head coach Casey Kilpatrick knew coming in that he didn’t have that type of team this year, but still said what he has seen is encouraging.

“So far the season has been pretty true to what I was expecting knowing who I had as players,” Kilpatrick said. “We don’t have any superstar golfers, we don’t have anybody who’s going to go out there and shoot in the 70s.

“That being said, I’m very proud of the kids for the effort they’re putting in. We’ve gone to some tough golf courses that they’ve never seen before and they’re sticking with it.”

Kilpatrick knew it would be a difficult task to field a state-competitive team with just one week to prepare before tournaments started last week.

In the team’s first week, they were busy.

The varsity traveled to Grand Junction, played two tournaments in Montrose and another in Aspen, all by Monday. Four tournaments in eight days means almost half the team’s season already is over.

In high school golf, the top three scores from each varsity team are added up to create the team score, and teams at each tournament are ranked based on that. MCHS has not been in the mix to win any of its tournaments so far, but Kilpatrick said that is not what he’s worried about.

“The kids have been okay, they’ve been shooting fine so far,” Kilpatrick said. “Everybody shot really well (at Black Canyon Golf Course) in Montrose. Outside of Aspen, which is probably the toughest course we’ll play all year, the kids’ scores have been going down consistently. I can tell they’re getting better.”

The low score so far for the Bulldogs was recorded by junior Tyler Jenkins at Black Canyon, where he shot 88.

After playing four tournaments in eight days, the Bulldogs don’t play again until Aug. 28 at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction. Kilpatrick says they’ll use the time off to work on some important parts of their game and give others a chance to play on varsity.

This week the team will play at Yampa Valley Golf Course to determine for the second time this season which players will be on varsity for the next stretch of tournaments. It is part of the re-qualifying process Kilpatrick wanted to offer his players.

They will also spend time developing their short game.

“I have them keep track of all the putts they hit while they’re playing,” Kilpatrick said. “That way we can see if they shot a 106 and 41 were putts, that’s a significant chunk of their shots on the green.

“We’ll work on parts of the game where they can shave some strokes.”

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