Sailors learn lessons on the road

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— On Monday, the Steamboat Springs golf team returned to practice at Haymaker Golf Course after completing its first big road trip of the year.

"I was impressed with how our players dealt with the anxiety of the first week," coach Ryan Barclay said. "I think they were a little nervous at the start, but by the end of the week they were starting to play the way I know they can."

Freshman Paul Berry led the Steamboat Springs golf team during a pair of events hosted by Durango High School.

He shot a 79 on Aug. 13 at the par-71, 6,632-yard Dalton Ranch course in Durango to finish tied with three other golfers for ninth.

His finish, combined with those of teammates Hunter Hidalgo, who fired a round of 81, and Kenton Gamache, who finished at 82, helped Steamboat secure sixth place with a score 242.

Fifteen teams competed in the tournament.

Rifle won the meet at 226 and Grand Junction was second with a score of 230. Montrose was third, Durango was fourth, Palmer was fifth and Steamboat finished in a tie with Fruita-Monument.

"We expected Paul to step it up this season," Barclay said. "But I think it was nice to see Hunter (Hidalgo) turn in some good scores as well."

Barclay said Dalton Ranch, with water on 17 of the course's 18 holes, is a difficult test for most young players.

It was the first time most of the Steamboat players had played it and Barclay thinks that was reflected in some of the scores.

"The players who were striking the ball with confidence did pretty well," Barclay said. "But if you were not on top of your game, it was a very tough day."

Berry and the Sailors teed up again on Aug. 14 at Hillcrest Golf Club.

Berry trimmed several strokes off his score en route to posting the Sailors' top individual finish with a 75.

He finished in a tie for sixth place overall

Tucker Smalley shot a round of 78 and Ryan Brees and Hidalgo both finished at 81.

As a team, the Sailors finished at 234, tied with Rifle for fourth place.

Montrose won the tournament with a combined score of 227, Durango was second at 230 and Grand Junction was third with a 232.

Grand Junction golfer Eric Winder led both days in Durango. Winder scored a 68 on the first day at Dalton Ranch and won with a 70 on the second day at Hillcrest.

The Steamboat team will head back on the road this week for tournaments in Delta on Wednesday and Montrose on Thursday.

"Last weekend was good for us, but we still have some room for improvement," Barclay said.

The coach thinks his team will continue to gain confidence this week and he expects the team score to continue to fall.

"We've been on the road now and our golfers know what it is like to be in a high school golf tournament," Barclay said.

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