Welcome to the windy city

Golfers from 17 Colorado schools try to tame Catamount, conditions

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Only on a windy afternoon at Catamount golf course can scores consistently in the high 80s and 90s generate smiles.

Regarded as one of the tougher courses in Colorado, particularly along the Western Slope, golfers from 17 schools including host Steamboat Springs tried their best to hit clean shots in heavy winds for most of Wednesday.

A handful had some success none more than the Sailors' Jeff Franks.

Playing in just his second tournament of the season, Franks shot a three-under 69 before turning in his scorecard and darting off the course to football practice.

"I had a couple stupid bogeys," Franks said. "Other than that I had a pretty good round."

Franks agreed the wind changed the complexity and difficulty of the course quite a bit but he didn't complain, adding that it assisted in his hitting a 379-yard drive and a 290-yard iron shot.

"He's been playing really well this year," Steamboat coach Jason Deigert said.

The chance to simply play Catamount excited many of the high school players in town for the tournament.

"This was fun," Fruita Monument's Tyler Nathe said. "This is a premier course."

Nathe was the top finisher on his Wildcats squad with a 77. As early scores were posted on the Catamount boards, Fruita Monument quickly seized the team lead with a 238 behind Nathe, Moona Haupt's 79 and Jon Schler's 82, but Battle Mountain recorded an impressive team score of 234 to win the Steamboat Springs tournament.

Keith Denton, Ben VanCuren and Austin Chow shot a 76, 77 and 81, respectively, for Battle Mountain, as the participating teams counted three of their top five scores.

Steamboat counted Franks' 69, Cody Sherrill's 87 and newcomer Kenton Gamache's 85 for a team score of 241 eight shots behind the leader. Hunter Hidalgo shot an 84 to post the second best round of the day for Steamboat but he was playing on the junior varsity squad Wednesday.

Like Franks, Wednesday's 18-hole round was Gamache's second tournament for the Sailors. A recent addition to the squad after moving from Dallas, Gamache had trouble tracking down Deigert to get more information on joining the team because Steamboat had already started its season

No problem. When things slowed down a bit, Gamache found a spot within the top five.

"It's a lot more relaxed up here," Gamache said.

Other scores turned in by Steamboat's varsity players included Ryan Brees' 96 and Eric Vanderbloemen's 103.

Scores from Wednesday's round will not carry over into today's tournament, which begins with an 8 a.m. shotgun start at Haymaker, a course that should turn in lower scores, particularly for the hometown team.

It will mark the last time the Sailors will compete at home until the commencement of Western Regionals on Sept. 18 at Haymaker.

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