Steamboat Springs .Unfortunately, by the time the Steamboat Springs High School Golf program kicks off the 2000 season in early August, Graham Thompson will already be headed back home to Seattle.
Thompson, who was in town visiting his mother this week, took top honors at the first Haywhacker Junior Golf Tournament at the Haymaker Golf Course Tuesday morning. Thompson was born and raised in Steamboat Springs, but moved to Seattle two years ago.
Final results of Tuesdays Haywhacker Junior Golf Tournament held at the Haymaker Golf Course: Boys (10-12) 1, Kaleb McKey, 43; 2, Tucker Smalley, 46; 3, Andy White, 52. Girls (10-12) 1, Miriam Pensack, 82. Boys (13-15) 1, Jeff Franks, 79; 2, Henry Howard, 88 (won in playoff); 3, Tyler Nathe, 88. Girls (13-15) 1, Melissa White, 115. Boys (16-18) 1, Graham Thompson, 72; 2, Eric Scholl, 77; 3, Quinn Coale, 80.
On Tuesday, the 17-year-old golfer shot even par on both the front and back nines of the course to finish at 72.
"It was a pretty solid round," Thompson said after winning the overall title. "I wasn't putting that well, but my iron play made up for it."
Thompson said he was pushed for most of the round by Steamboat Springs player Danny Armstrong, who was in his foursome. But Thompson said he was able to take the upper hand in the tournament on his ninth hole where he scored a birdie and pulled back to even par halfway through.
"That was huge," Thompson said. "Danny was making a run at that point and that hole kind of put an end to it."
Thompson was able to put another solid string of holes together on the back nine and became the first golfer to win the inaugural Haywhacker title. Eric Scholl was second in the 16-18 age division with a round of 77. Quinn Coale beat out Armstrong in a playoff for third place. Both golfers finished with rounds of 80.
On the girls side, Melissa White won with an 18-hole round of 115.
"It's an awesome tournament," said Jason Deigart, the Haymaker's director of junior golf. "We had players from all over the place and I think this can become a big (junior) tournament here in northwestern Colorado."
Deigart said 56 junior golfers between the ages of 10-18 took part in the Haywhacker. The golfers came from all over the Western part of the state, including Craig, Rifle and Grand Junction. Titles were handed out in three divisions.
Kaleb McKey won the boys 10-12 age division with a nine-hole score of 43. Steamboat's Miriam Pensack won the girls 10-12 division with a score of 82.
Local golfer Jeff Franks shot a round of 79 to win the boys 13-15 division, and finished third overall. White was the girls winner in that same age division.
The tournament comes at the end of the club's junior golf program. Haymaker will also host the final leg of this years Inter-Club Junior Championship on Aug. 9. That tournament will be played at the Steamboat Golf Club ( Aug. 7), the Sheraton Golf Club (Aug. 8) before coming to a conclusion at the Haymaker. The golfers with the best combined score for all three days will be crowned champions.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com