Young golfers take on the Yampa |

Young golfers take on the Yampa

Junior classic in Craig features 49 young golfers

Ben Bulkeley

Casey Nations hits his ball onto the green Tuesday during the Yampa River Junior Classic at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig. The tournament included 49 golfers up to 17 years old, who were competing for trophies in the youth tournament.

Although she finished first in the girls 6-and-younger division, golfer Halle Hamilton thought she could have improved on her score of 27 for three holes.

"It was pretty good," Hamilton said. "(But) was probably worse than how I usually golf."

Halle was one of 49 golfers to hit the links Tuesday for the Yampa River Junior Classic golf tournament, which featured five age groups for boys and girls. Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig served as the host site.

The tournament included golfers up to age 17, including some who play for Moffat County High School.

Halle, the two-time girls 6-and-younger champion, will move up a division next year. She said Tuesday she was still thinking about the fun she had playing in this year's tournament.

"My best was when I was putting," she said. "That was really fun."

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Like Halle, Kale Beckett, 6, is a repeat champion.

On Tuesday, he shot 21 through three holes to win the boys 6 and younger division.

"I shot seven, seven, seven," he said. "If I was one year older, it would been all sevens.

"The best part was when I hit a 110-yard drive."

On the other end of the age spectrum, Mark Dockstader, an incoming Moffat County High School senior, shot 73 to win the boys 15-and-older division.

His day didn't start the way he hoped, he said.

"My first two holes were kind of rough," he said. "After that, it was a lot of pars and an eagle on 15.

"Whenever you get an eagle, it definitely helps keep the score down."

Dockstader shot one-under par for the last 16 holes.

The last time Rifle's Taylor Walters was at Yampa Valley Golf Course, she was battling MCHS' Heather Nicholson for the regional tournament crown.

The pair golfed a one-hole playoff to break a tie.

Being back for the first time since May brought back memories, she said.

"When I was on one, Nike (Cleverly) said 'I bet this brings back memories,'" Walters said. "It was a lot of fun today, though."

Although she was able to win the girls 15-and-older division with a score of 92, Walters, who will enter her sophomore year in the fall, said she could have played better.

"I really struggled," she said. "It was mainly on the greens. My putts were struggling.

"The day started off not too bad, and the middle was a little better. Then the rest was kind of bleh."

Rifle's Alyx Carter shot 66 to hold off Craig's Caitlin Harjes' 68 in the girls 13- and 14-year-old division.

But, Alyx said she could have golfed better during her nine holes.

"I just didn't play the way I wanted to," she said. "I definitely wasn't at my best. I know I can play better than I did today."

Rifle's Ty Caron, 14, was able to win the boys 13- and 14-year-old division with an 85 through 18 holes.

"I had a pretty good start," he said. "It was a little rough in the middle, but it came together at the end."

Ann Marie Roberts, the golf course's LPGA pro, organized the event.

She said the tournament did exactly what she hoped.

"It's good to see kids get a chance to go out and compete," she said. "We want to see them come out and enjoy the game.

"That's the future right there. We want them to keep playing."

Results from Tuesday’s Yampa River Junior Classic golf tournament:

Girls 6 and under (three holes):

Name Score

  1. Halle Hamilton 27
  2. Emma Jones 62

Boys 6 and under (three holes):

  1. Kale Beckett 21
  2. Ryan Peck 23
  3. David Andujo 26

Girls 7 to 9 (six holes):

  1. Masi Smith 42
  2. Mackenzie Marshall 80

Boys 7 to 9 (six holes):

  1. Cody Spaulding 52
  2. Luke Pleasant 58
  3. Grady Anson 69

Girls 10 to 12 (nine holes):

  1. Elly Walters 62
  2. Monika Spaulding 65
  3. Alyson Shuman 67

Boys 10 to 12 (nine holes):

  1. Jake Lauinger 38
  2. Jacob Smith 44
  3. Fisher Matthews 48

Girls 13 and 14 (nine holes):

  1. Alyx Carter 64
  2. Caitlin Harjes 66
  3. Leann Showalter 99

Boys 13 and 14 (18 holes):

  1. Ty Caron 85
  2. Wyatt Carter 88
  3. Brandon Martin 92

Girls 15 and older (18 holes):

  1. Taylor Walters 92
  2. Nike Cleverly 98
  3. Callie Papoulas 99

Boys 15 and older (18 holes):

  1. Mark Dockstader 73
  2. Parker King 77
  3. Kyler Smith 80

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