Mike Bingham, Moffat County High School golf sink 1st place in Gunnison | CraigDailyPress.com

Mike Bingham, Moffat County High School golf sink 1st place in Gunnison

Coach: Team getting into groove on way to regionals

Moffat County High School golfer Mike Bingham gets into his stance on the driving range of Yampa Valley Golf Course. Bingham won first place individually and contributed to MCHS's first place group score Wednesday shooting in Gunnison, the third of three tournaments the varsity team played in this week, leading up to regionals next week.

When he's out on the links, Moffat County High School sophomore Mike Bingham doesn't pay heed to those competing against him. How others finish their day is far less of a concern to him when he's already devoting his mind to his own game.

But that doesn't mean being at the top of the board escapes him once he's completed 18 holes.

Bingham and the rest of the MCHS varsity golf team saw a busy week in the southeast quadrant of Colorado, playing three straight tournaments from Monday to Wednesday, two in Durango and another in Gunnison, the latter of which was their best meet to date this season.

MCHS won the day Wednesday at Dos Rios Golf Club with a combined score of 254, including Bingham's 3-over par 75, which won him first place as an individual. Although it was not his personal-best score for the year — a 74 at the Eagle Valley Invitational — Bingham said he was pleased with his first tournament win.

"I've never played in Durango or Gunnison, so that was pretty cool," he said.

Coach Justin Folley also was excited for the team's highlight of the season, which followed two grueling days in Durango. The team shot a combined 282 on Monday at Hillcrest Golf Club, with Bingham tallying a 79 alongside teammates Tyler Davis, with a 96, and Chris Kling and Phillip Chadwick, each finishing with a 107.

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The conditions were tougher the next day at Durango's Dalton Ranch, as teams were faced with a lot of water, both in normal hazards and otherwise.

"The rain came and slowed them down a bit," Folley said.

Even so, the team shot four strokes better Tuesday, with Davis's improved 90 balancing out Bingham's 87. Kling also found more success with a 101, while Chadwick fell to 116.

The next day, Kling notched a 101, while both Davis and Chadwick had their best rounds of the three-day stretch in Gunnison, as Chadwick shot a 90 and Davis broke his own record with an 89. Some good putting was on display while they were at Dos Rios, Folley said.

"The greens read a little bit more like ours (at Yampa Valley Golf Course), so they were used to that," he said. "It was a good course. It was fun."

MCHS will attend one final regular season tourney Friday in Rangely, but Folley doesn't plan to send these four, partly because they've been out of school for half the week but also so they can practice for what's next: regionals.

The Bulldogs will return to Hillcrest on Monday for a practice round, followed by the official event Tuesday. Folley plans to take as many golfers as he can.

"The more kids you take, the better your chances," he said.

The level of play in Gunnison also has demonstrated to the coach that each of his players has a chance of possibly making it to state, with Davis' improved play impressing him.

"He's really tearing it up now," Folley said.

For Bingham, who has consistently shot lowest for MCHS, going past regionals is daunting but not impossible.

"I think I have a pretty good shot, but you never know how it's going to go in golf," he said. "You just have to figure it out when you're there."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School boys varsity golf results

The team competed in three tournaments this week, on Monday and Tuesday at Durango’s Hillcrest and Dalton Ranch Golf Clubs and Wednesday at Gunnison’s Dos Rios Golf Club.

Golfer — Hillcrest score/Dalton score/Dos Rios score

Mike Bingham — 79/87/75

Tyler Davis — 96/90/89

Chris Kling — 107/101/102

Phillip Chadwick — 107/116/90

Team — 282/278/254

The team won first overall, and Bingham placed first individually in Gunnison.