Sailors open with fifth place

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— The Steamboat Springs High School boys golf team opened the season with a fifth-place finish at the Bookcliff Golf Course in Grand Junction on Monday.

Twenty teams from Classes 5A and 4A took part in the hot and windy tournament.

The Sailors fired a team score of 241 led by Hunter Hidalgo and Paul Berry, who scored 79 each. Ryan Brees shot an 83 for Steamboat's final counting score.

The top three of five scores counted for each of the 20 teams.

Tucker Smalley and Kenton Gamache shot an 85 and 88, respectively, rounding out the Sailors' scores.

"There was some anxiousness from the first tournament of the year," Steamboat coach Ryan Barclay said.

A tournament highlight for Steamboat came from Hidalgo. He entered the tournament as Steamboat's No. 5 golfer but fired the team's highest score of 79, lending further proof to the team's collective belief that this year's Sailors team has the talent to be deeper than last year's squad, which finished second in the state.

"It was not a surprise," Barclay said of Hidalgo's score. "It was maybe more a breakthrough. I knew he had it in him."

The Steamboat golfers spent Tuesday practicing at the Montrose course where this year's regionals will be held.

The Sailors resume competition at 9 a.m. today at Dalton Ranch in Durango.

They play again at 10 a.m. Thursday at Hillcrest in Durango before returning home from their season-opening road trip.

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