Moffat County golfers Dave Andujo, Tanner Etzler set sights on state | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County golfers Dave Andujo, Tanner Etzler set sights on state

State-bound Moffat County High School golfers Dave Andujo, left, and Tanner Etzler take a break from the driving range at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High School golfers are ready to step it up and start swinging for their last big tournament of the season.

MCHS’s Dave Andujo and Tanner Etzler will compete Oct. 7 and 8 at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as part of the 3A State Championships.

The two both shot a 91 at the 3A Region 4 tourney last week to make the cut to the state level.

The score was one Andujo felt was better than the previous year’s regional event — where he notched a 95 — though one of his bigger struggles this season, in which he has regularly recorded mid-80s totals.

That’s a mark he hopes to hit again.

“I definitely need to play smarter,” he said. “All my other tournaments, I kind of played aggressive and wasn’t thinking out all my shots, so I wasn’t playing up to my standards. This season, my short game and my irons were good, but I was struggling off the tee box.”

Andujo said he has been spending the past week on his putting while not neglecting the other elements of the sport.

Etzler said the two of them have been working on drills on the Yampa Valley Golf Course putting green, as well as on the driving range.

“I think my swing looks pretty good, but I lift my head sometimes, and once or twice I raise up a little bit when I shouldn’t,” he said. “Other than that, I’ve been pretty good.”

The two Bulldog golfers will have an opportunity for up to two practice rounds Saturday and Sunday at Eisenhower before teeing off for the official rounds Monday and Tuesday.

Coach Tim Adams said the pair have different strengths in how they’ve progressed this year.

“The thing about Tanner is he’s really good around and on the greens. He’s not the longest player we have by any means, but he’s really consistent off the tee, and so he puts himself in position to score low,” Adams said.

As for Andujo, Adams said consistency on drives will be crucial, which includes reining in some of his power.

“He can hit the ball a mile, but it doesn’t always go where he wants it to,” he said. “We’ve really focused these last few weeks on two-putts. Your approach shot, you’re not always going to land super close to the hole, so don’t get yourself in trouble.”

Though the season began late for the team, Adams said he’s been pleased to see the incremental improvements for the small group — which also included Tyler Burkett, Hayden Short and Tucker Sterle — and the two who will represent MoCo at the final echelon.

“Their goal was to go to state, and it’s really exciting when they put in the work and see that pay off,” he said. “That’s the most exciting part of it for me.”