Craig The Moffat County High School boys golf team saw its season come to an end Tuesday at Gypsum Creek Golf Course, shooting a team score of 262 at the Class 4A Western Regional.
The Bulldogs’ team score was the worst in the 4A region Tuesday, one stroke behind Battle Mountain, but it was a full 15 strokes better than they shot at the same course at the beginning of the season.
They were led by freshman Mike Bingham, who shot a 10-over par 82, tying for 18th as an individual. The top 16 qualify for state as individuals. If Bingham had shot a stroke lower, he would have played in a playoff to be a state alternate, and an even 80 would have sent him to state outright.
“It was a hell of an effort he put up,” head coach Casey Kilpatrick said about Bingham’s round.
Junior Casey Nations shot 85, and Moffat County’s two seniors, Taft Cleverly and Tyler Jenkins, each shot 95. The top three individual scores form the team score.
Kilpatrick was satisfied with the way his team played, regardless of their finishing position.
Gypsum Creek "is an incredibly difficult golf course,” he said. “Coach (Justin) Folley and I played it this week, and it’s just really tough. It has a lot of challenges and a lot of hazards. That’s not an excuse because everyone is playing the same, but it creates a lot of trouble, so if you have one bad hole, it can spiral out of control.”
Moffat County spent the first half of its season with varsity players trying to shoot under 85 and trying to break 270 as a team. It did that late in the year at its home tournament for the first time and stayed there the rest of the way. That is the item Kilpatrick is most proud of this season.
“I didn’t expect us to shoot in the 250s at this golf course. I’m happy with a 262,” he said. “Was it last place? Yeah, but I think we saw the most improvement among all the 4A schools over the course of this year.”
Cleverly and Jenkins were the lone seniors on the team, and Kilpatrick knows they will be missed. But he hopes to see more young players come out and work on their game in the seasons to come.
“The only (negative) thing I can think of is losing two seniors in Taft and Tyler,” Kilpatrick said. “That is kind of bittersweet, but I’m glad they participated. It was fun to travel with them this week and get to play one more round of golf.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.