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Golfers improve scores, not place

As the Moffat County High School boys golf team pulled into the school parking lot after the second tournament of the season, they looked around and saw other sports teams just starting their first practices of the fall.

Although the golfers’ season is well under way, they could still use some practice themselves.

“We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time,” coach Ken Harjes said after the Bulldogs turned in a scored of 250 Grand Junction’s Bookcliff Golf Course on Monday, which was good enough for 12th place out of 17.



What went right for the Bulldogs was that their 250 was 12 strokes better than the first tournament a week ago. Also, junior Kaleb McKey turned in a 78 on a par 70 course to finish tied for 16.

“Kaleb was happy with his day,” Harjes said. “He had a triple bogey … but he also had seven pars.”



One other bright spot wasn’t directly related to the play of the team.

“Maybe the league isn’t as good as I thought,” Harjes said. “But then again maybe they didn’t have all of their best players there today.”

Class 5A Durango ate up Bookcliff with a team score of 217. The next closest was Fruita Monument’s 227. Steamboat Springs was the top 4A school with a 229.

“On a par 72 course the best team would have been in the 230s),” Harjes said. “If our best team in the league is shooting around 230 they’re reachable.”

For the Bulldogs to reach 230, Harjes said they needed more consistency.

“I saw several great approach shots only for the guys to miss a six-foot putt,” he said. “I didn’t see or hear about a lot of made six to 10-foot putts.”

Freshman Collin Jackson and sophomore Bryce Ponikvar made their varsity debuts Monday. Jackson turned in an 86, which tied senior Zach Haddan for the team’s second best tally. Ponikvar shot an 88, which was one stroke back of senior Kyle Wilson.

“Collin and Bryce did well for never seeing this course and playing on varsity for the first time,” Harjes said. “I saw Kyle a couple of good shots but he didn’t finish them, and Zach wasn’t too happy because of his putting.”

The Bulldogs finished seventh among schools that will compete in the their region at the end of the season.

“We’re just barely in the upper half,” Harjes said, “but when it comes to the numbers were not that far off.”

Now it’s Harjes’ assignment to figure out which guys are going to put up the competitive numbers.

“We have a lot of guys who are close to each other and that makes it tough,” he said.

Today, the Bull–dogs will play a round of 18 at their home course to try to help sort out the quagmire of too many guys at the same ability.

“They’ll play a lot of golf the next couple weeks to sort things out the best we can,” Harjes said. “The qualifying (today) will start to help that.”

Next up for the varsity golfers is a tournament Wednesday at the Rifle Creek Golf Course.


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