Steamboat Springs The sun was just starting to set when high school senior Garrett McGinn returned home from the Haymaker Golf Course.
McGinn and a few other members of the Sailors golf team spent a few hours after practice had ended working on last-minute details before today's tournament.
"The key to winning at Haymaker is knowing the greens," McGinn said. "They are really tricky and we will have a huge advantage over the players on other teams."
Fifteen high school golf teams will tee off at the Haymaker course this morning as Steamboat Springs High School hosts its only home tournament of the season.
"We haven't played that well at tournaments this season," McGinn said. "But now that we are at home, hopefully we can show them that we can play."
McGinn led the Sailors last week in Rifle with a seventh-place round of 75. The team finished in a tie for third at the Rifle Creek Golf Course.
"The kids are very excited," Sailors golf coach Jason Deigert said. "This is the tournament we look forward to the most all season."
The high school golfers will hit the course at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start. Sailors playing in the tournament will include McGinn, Jeff Franks, Evan Wojtowicz, Eric Scholl and Quinn Coale.
"We will be spending the next week to 10 days focusing on our short game, putting and trying to build some confidence for regional," Deigert said.
The Steamboat tournament and one Thursday at the Cotton Ranch in Gypsum will bring the regular season to an end for the Sailors. Steamboat will start preparing for the regional tournament scheduled for the Dos Rios Course in Gunnison Sept. 23.
McGinn, who played in Steamboat's No. 3 or No. 4 slot all of last year, has jumped to the top of the team standings this season. He has been the top-ranked Sailor since the opening tournament.
"I spent the whole summer playing in Colorado Junior Golf Association tournaments, and it really paid off," McGinn said. "I'm really focused on winning and I've been mentally prepared for every tournament."
McGinn is hoping to earn a state qualifying position at the regional and hopefully move on to play at the college level next season.
But first, McGinn and his teammates will turn their attention to today's business. Top teams from Moffat County, Rifle, Grand Junction and Grand Junction Central will be in town today to face the rolling hills, unpredictable greens and unforgiving bunkers of the Haymaker course.
"I think we have to be the favorite to win this tournament," Deigert said. "We don't play this style of course, so our players will have a definite advantage over the other teams."
Deigert expects the tournament to take about four hours.
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