Moffat County golfer Aron Jennings clinches win at home tourney

Following his final putt Monday on the 18th green of Yampa Valley Golf Course, Aron Jennings kept his celebration small, but the small fist pump represented a lot for the Moffat County senior.

Jennings won the Bulldog Invitational with his lowest score yet — a 71 that was a full three strokes ahead of anyone else on the day.

Apart from two bogies, Jennings played smoothly throughout the day with birdies on Holes 5, 10 and 15.

“I should have gotten birdie on my first hole or one of the Par 5’s, but there’s always room for improvement,” Jennings said. “The irons and wedges are going really well. I could be a little more accurate with the driver, but those feel good.”

The -1 overall total was Jennings’ first time breaking par, and that, plus the tournament victory, were vital goals for him this fall. While he tied for first in Cedaredge back in August, a playoff round put him in second.

Familiarity with the course certainly didn’t hurt.

“I just took it like a practice round,” Jennings said. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at your home tournament, just take it like another round.”

The 71 by Jennings — whose previous season best was a 74 last week to tie for third last week at the Vail Mountain Invite — is the best score any MoCo player has recorded at the home event since coach Tim Adams started his tenure.

“I’ve never had anybody win a tournament,” Adams said. “Some kids get into trouble and then compound that trouble, but Aron’s not one of those. He might have a bad hole, but he doesn’t let that snowball. He played really well, really smart.”

As a team, MCHS golf ranked 10th of 15 schools, with Vail Mountain winning the group scores at 238. The Bulldogs’ total included Jennings’ 71, a 92 by JW Yapoujian, a 93 by Jayden Evenson, tying for 51st and 53rd, respectively.

Yapoujian, a junior who recently relocated to Craig from Byers, said he only started playing recently and has trimmed his score from 106 at Tiara Rado to 104 at Vail to a huge cut on the home course.

“I just started at the end of July,” Yapoujian said. “I just went out and tried not to worry about what I shot. Now I’m wanting to get into the 80s.”

Sophomore Kolten Vasquez and senior Zaylan Kirby rounded out the varsity totals with a 108 and 109.

Adams had a full dozen players on the links with a 108 by sophomore John David Jr. leading JV ranks that included Cash Beckett, Logan Reidhead, Carter Sterle, Trevor Odell, Davian Marsh and Jack Swenson.

“The team is amazing,” Yapoujian said. “Great team spirit, and a really supportive group of guys.”

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