Moffat County posts season low at home golf tournament |

Moffat County posts season low at home golf tournament

Nate Waggenspack

Taft Cleverly tees off the ninth hole at Yampa Valley Golf Course on Wednesday in Craig. Cleverly shot 93 on the day for the Moffat County boys golf team, which posted a team score of 258 in its home tournament. It was the Bulldogs' lowest score of the year.

— In consecutive tournaments, the Moffat County boys golf team played its best golf of the season and got an individual best from its youngest member.

Golfers from across the Western Slope came to play at Yampa Valley Golf Course on Wednesday in Craig. Many golfers came back with higher scores than they were accustomed to, struggling with tough pin positions on several holes.

Among the golfers who played well despite the tough conditions was Moffat County's Mike Bingham, who shot 79 and led the Bulldogs to a season-low team score of 258. Casey Nations (86) and Taft Cleverly (93) also scored for the Bulldogs varsity, while Tyler Jenkins (102) and Chris Kling (109) struggled on the home course.

It was Bingham's lowest round of his life, but it didn't start out that way. He was 5 over par after seven holes but settled in and played just 2 over for the final 11 of his round.

"The front nine was not so great," Bingham said. "On the back, I kept shooting pars, and then I had two holes to finish, and I went birdie, par, so I was shooting pretty good."

Bingham's 79 was the second-lowest score at the tournament, and impressed his coach.

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"I think that has been his potential this year," Casey Kilpatrick said. "I've been saying all year, a couple strokes here, a couple strokes there, and he did that today. And how rewarding for him to do it at home in front of his parents and to represent us to these other golfers."

Moffat County's team score was good for fourth out of nine teams, behind Grand Junction (237), Steamboat Springs (238) and Palisade (240).

Erik Sobeck, of Steamboat, has played YVGC before but still doesn't feel comfortable with the course, he said. He still shot 82 but had some difficult holes.

"This course is especially tough because it's different from Haymaker" in Steamboat, Sobeck said. "It's less open, and it's got more trees, so it's hard to get comfortable. I didn't play too badly."

Several golfers cited difficult pin placements on holes three and nine as problematic for their scores, but everyone was dealing with the same course layout.

"The pins were so hard, that's the toughest I've ever played them," Bingham said.

Bingham matched his low score Thursday when Moffat County traveled to Steamboat to play at Haymaker Golf Course, shooting 79 again to lead the Bulldogs. He was joined with low scores by Nations (85), Cleverly (87) and Jenkins (87).

Before Thursday, Moffat County had not had three players shoot below 90 in a tournament, let alone four. The team score of 251 once again was a low for the year.

"The way it feels right now, and I guess it started yesterday, it feels like the kids are playing with more confidence," Kilpatrick said. "To show this improvement over the course of the season speaks to the amount of work they've put in."

Moffat County will play in one more tournament Friday at Rangely before the regional tournament tees off in Gypsum on Sept. 17.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or

Moffat County boys golf scores Wednesday and Thursday

•Mike Bingham: 79, 79

•Casey Nations: 86, 85

•Taft Cleverly: 93, 87

•Tyler Jenkins: 102, 87

•Silas Canto: 104, 118

•Chris Kling: 109, 123

•Daniel Rockwell: 113, 119

•David Wildemuth: 129, 123

•Trevor Johnson: 131, 114

•Jake Stewart: n/a, 119