Moffat County golfers teeing up for regional events

Moffat County High School's Torin Reed sinks a short putt during the Bulldogs' home golf tournament as coach Rod Compton observes. Reed and Connor Etzler will attend the 3A Region 4 Tournament Sunday and Monday in Delta while junior varsity players will play Friday in Grand Junction.
Andy Bockelman

The first sport to start the fall season is also the first to finish, and for Rod Compton, his first year as Moffat County High School boys golf coach has flown by faster than he expected.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he chuckled.

MCHS golfers played their final regular season event Wednesday, taking a 292 as a group at Lakota Canyon Golf Course in New Castle, a tournament hosted by Coal Ridge High School.

Torin Reed led the pack with an 85, a score Compton noted would have broken 80 if not for Reed’s final holes.

“He would have shot 78 if he had parred the last two, but he got in a little bit of trouble, got a quadruple bogey on one,” he said. “I think he was frustrated, but he learned a lot from it.”

Connor Etzler followed with a 94, Tyler Burkett 113 and Jack Doane 118 for the Bulldogs.

The Coal Ridge tourney is the last stop as Moffat County and other schools head into regional championship mode, which includes a junior varsity-level event Friday in Grand Junction.

Compton will take five — Burkett, Doane, James DeWald, Josh Townsend, Tanner Etzler — to the tourney at Chipeta Golf Course.

“It could be a crowning achievement for these younger guys, and I really think they’re all going to play next year,” he said.

Compton opted to only bring two players to the following 3A Region 4 Tournament at Devil’s Thumb in Delta. Though teams are allowed to field a team of four for the state qualifier, he felt younger players might be too intimidated to play their best game.

Reed and Connor Etzler, both of whom have shot at regionals previously, will play in Delta, beginning with a Sunday practice round before the real thing Monday.

The two are both excellent from the tee box, Compton said, though decisions are crucial at that point.

“Connor tends to pull out his driver every time, which is great when it works for him, but when you’re a few degrees off with a driver, the results are exponential,” he said.

Compton also wants both to focus on the “up and down” part of the game, while putting is mostly satisfactory.

“Torin is good on the green as long as he’s outside of two feet from the hole. Then for some reason he freezes up,” he said.

Compton plans to have the two analyze as much as they can in the warm-up round.

“I’m going to have them each take a small notebook, write down all the different slopes and breaks, and we’ll figure out how to go from there,” he said.

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