Moffat County golfers keep scores steady at Grand Junction, Rifle tourneys | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County golfers keep scores steady at Grand Junction, Rifle tourneys

Moffat County High School's Connor Etzler tees off during the Rifle Bears Invite Tuesday at Rifle Creek Golf Course. MCHS also played Monday at Bookcliff in Grand Junction and will host a home meet Sept. 5 at Yampa Valley Golf Course.

While most of the fall sports teams at Moffat County High School are just now easing into their seasons, the boys golf squad is already halfway through their year.

After an early start in mid-August MCHS boys were back on the links this week with tournaments Monday and Tuesday at Grand Junction’s Bookcliff Country Club and Rifle’s Rifle Creek Golf Course, respectively.

The Bulldogs placed fifth of 15 teams at Monday’s Tiger Invitational with a group tally of 249.

Seniors Torin Reed and Connor Etzler shot 79 and 87, with freshman Dave Andujo right in the middle of the varsity scores at 83.

A varied day for Reed, who placed 14th, included a -1 on Bookcliff’s 18th hole, a Par 5, to close out the back nine.

“I had a really good drive down the center then hit a hybrid to get up there,” Reed said.

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Andujo certainly had something to crow about with birdies on three of the course’s Par 3’s.

“Had a good tee shot and just drained my birdie putt on those,” Andujo said. “You just gotta stay focused, swing smooth, don’t try to kill the ball, keep your mind cleared.”

Josh Townsend hit 112 and James DeWald 128 in a day coach Rod Compton noted was beset by hot, dry conditions that impacted putting in particular.

“Those greens were unforgiving, they didn’t hold at all. These guys aren’t used to that. You almost had to play them like Scotland,” he said. “The guys still did pretty well.”

The two-day trip went on to Rifle Tuesday, where the same set of five took seventh in the Bears Invite.

Varsity swingers had more trouble as Reed shot 83 to tie for ninth among 67 golfers, and Etzler and Andujo tied for 26th, each with a 91. Townsend’s total improved drastically to 99, while DeWald notched a 127.

Back in practice mode later in the week, Compton had players working on their middle game with long chips to the green from the fairway.

“Greens in Rifle were easier, but some of them got in bad situations, weren’t thinking as well as they should,” Compton said. “They hit the ball fairly well off the tee, but we’re working on our least best thing, which is getting up and down. I see it over and over again; someone gets on the green, and then they three-putt. I want them to realize those shots count just as much.”

MCHS moves into its home tournament at 1 p.m. Sept. 5 at Yampa Valley Golf Course, followed the next day at Steamboat Springs' Haymaker Golf Course.

Compton said there will be 15 schools at YVGC Wednesday, and he even had to turn down several. He also plans to add a Keystone tourney to the Bulldogs' schedule before the team's regional event Sept. 17 in Gunnison.

With only five slots available at most events, being able to see the full team in action at home — including Tanner Etzler, Tyler Burkett and Jack Doane — will give the coach an idea of who will ultimately represent at Gunnison’s Dos Rios.

“My whole goal is to get a full team qualified to go to state,” Compton said. “I know my top three, but the others we still have to solidify.”

Colorado High School Activities Association recently paired with Iwanamaker for a new mobile golf application to track scoring at tournaments statewide, available at sources such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Parents and other community members are encouraged to download the app, with 80 percent of the registration cost going toward the CHSAA golf team of their choice.