Business as usual

Franks shoots opening round 69 at Meadow Hills

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— It was business as usual Monday for Steamboat Springs' golfer Jeff Franks as he made his way around the Meadow Hills golf course in Denver.

For the second week in a row, the former high school standout was playing in a major Colorado Junior Golf Association event. This time, he was hoping to qualify for a junior match play event, which will take place over the next several days at the course in east Denver.

An opening round of 69 was just enough to put a smile on the 18-year-old's face and ensured that he would be seeded highly in the championship flight when the tournament opens today.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I played," Franks said. "I opened this tournament a lot better than I did last week in Steamboat."

Franks was referring to the CJGA Haywhacker golf tournament, which was held at Haymaker Golf Course June 18-19. He placed second in that tournament, but had to overcome a round of 79 on the first day to finish in the running. He shot a score of 69 on day two, but still finished seven strokes off the pace set by the winner.

"I was totally disappointed with the way I played on the first day," Franks said. "I wasn't surprised that I finished (second), but that's because I knew I could catch most of the golfers who were in front of me in that event."

One of those golfers, John Scott of Englewood, held on to win the championships division in Steamboat with a two-day total of 141. Franks won a tiebreaker with Stuart Drahota of Fort Collins to take second. Both gofers finished with two-day totals of 148.

David Cosel of Monument and Eric Winder of Grand Junction took fourth and fifth, respectively. The golfers finished at 149.

Shaun O'Bryant of Colorado Springs won the boys 16-18 flight with a total of 156. Derek Marciniak of Estes Park was second at 157 and Ryan Brees of Steamboat came in third. He also finished at 157.

Jacob Erisman of Golden won the boys 14-15 flight. He won the event with a total of 151. Justin Spray of Colorado Springs was second at 159 and Kinton Krieger of Cheyenne was third at 160. Steamboat's Tucker Smalley was 15th, and Jack O'Brien finished 30th. Cecillia Silverskiold of Evergreen won the girls 14- through 18-year-old age division with a two-day total of 168.

This week Franks said he didn't want to take the chance of starting slowly -- especially in a match-play format.

The top 32 players after Monday's qualifier will go head-to-head in the championship flight, the next 32 players will compete in the first flight and an additional 32 players were cut.

Franks said both tournaments are part of a busy June and July that he hopes will prepare him for life as a collegiate golfer in Wyoming next fall.

"I'm not playing in as many tournaments as I did last summer, but they are better tournaments," Franks said. "I'm hoping that by the time next fall rolls around I will be ready -- competitively -- for college."

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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