Bulldogs work to stay consistent on the links at Moffat County Invite, Steamboat tourney
Visiting teams brought the competition to Yampa Valley Golf Course Wednesday afternoon, and Moffat County High School boys responded in kind in their home tournament.
The Bulldogs tied for seventh overall of 14 teams at the MCHS Invite, an event that saw many Western Slope athletes shine.
There was no beating Aspen, as the Skiers finished with a 210 total for the top three players, led individually by Jack Hughes, who notched a 67 for the third time this season, with teammate Jack Pevny coming close behind in second at 69.
Hughes noted he had his lowest putt total ever.
“The greens here are small, and I put myself in position from the fairway and had a lot of short shots, so I just took advantage, made a few and got it done,” he said.
Montrose’s Micah Strangebye and Jordan Jennings also kept it below par, each shooting a 70 to add to the Indians’ second-place total of 219.
Elsewhere the hosting team kept their own pace, as seniors Torin Reed and Connor Etzler shot a 78 and 79, respectively, to place 16th and 20th of 82 total duffers.
Reed said he wasn’t thrilled with his total on his home course, though it was nonetheless a good round as he sets his sights on regionals later this month and hopefully beyond.
“My driver wasn’t really there today, so I’ll need to work on that, but I really think we can make it to state this year,” he said.
Connor pointed to a 40 on his first nine holes, leading to “a hot streak” on the start of YVGC’s back half, capped off by a birdie on the 13th, though closing out the last few holes took its toll.
Dave Andujo hit 89, a number he was frustrated with from the beginning with a +4 on the Par 5 first hole.
“Just struggling to hit the ball today. My driver was real bad, and chipping was bad, too,” Andujo said. “That’s just how golf is sometimes.”
The day was a varied one in coach Rod Compton’s eyes, with some players able to shake off their mistakes more than others. Altogether, he said Andujo’s results were still positive.
“He still bounced back and birdied No. 6, had quite a few pars, and a 43 on the front with a 9 is still pretty good,” Compton said. “Even the best guys struggle with consistency.”
Tyler Burkett brought his total to 91 in a solid day on the links.
“My best ever on this course is an 84, but that’s still pretty good,” Burkett said. “I was pretty consistent with pars.”
Tanner Etzler finished the day with a 100 to complete the varsity lineup, attributing his troubles to a series of snap-hooks during his drives from the tee boxes.
“I can’t control it,” he said. “My short game has been pretty good, though.”
Josh Townsend hit 110 as part of the Bulldogs’ JV roster, while Brady Figone, wholly new to Moffat County, shot 97 in his first full round at Yampa Valley.
Figone recently transferred to MCHS from central California, where he played courses in Monterey and Salinas, among other towns. The layout of YVGC wasn’t a huge challenge for him, he said, though he expects to do better the more he gets to know the site.
“It wasn’t my best but not bad for my first 18 here,” he said.
MCHS followed up their home tourney Thursday morning at Steamboat Springs’ Haymaker Golf Course.
The Moffat County fivesome earned seventh place again in a rougher day for everyone.
Reed kept it closest by adding only a couple strokes to shoot 80, while Connor Etzler had an 85.
Andujo posted a 92 to give the varsity squad a 257.
“Their fairways are about the same as ours and roll out about the same way,” Andujo said of the Steamboat course. “Greens are a lot faster than ours.”
Burkett hit 94, while Tanner Etzler’s total was 107.
While Reed, Connor and Andujo have assured their spots at Sept. 17’s 3A Region 4 Tournament at Gunnison’s Dos Rios Golf Course, Compton said he will take junior varsity golfers to a Sept. 13 event at Keystone Ranch hosted by Summit to determine who will fill the additional space at regionals.
In the final push toward regionals and hopefully state, Compton said he’s emphasizing that players put any poor shots behind them and focus on what can be done going forward.
“They have one mistake, get down on themselves and that’s what hurts their consistency,” he said.
When in doubt, stick to the animal kingdom, blockbuster movies and children’s literature. The winners of the 20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous were named Saturday evening to conclude the yearly festival that sees tree stumps become works of art in a matter of four days.