Golf coach Steve Dodson and player Hans-Peter Bacher sat side by side in a golf cart as they made their way to the 18th hole of the Tiarra Rado golf course Tuesday for a sudden-death playoff.
Dodson was behind the wheel offering a few final words of advice, but as his top player this season, Bacher soon would be in the tournament's driver's seat.
For the second time in three tournaments, the Steamboat Springs golfer found himself in a playoff for top individual honors at a tournament.
In Rifle last week, Bacher lost to Montrose's Collin Covault in the playoffs. But even as the coach uttered his last few words, he knew this time would be different.
"I could tell from looking at him he was determined," Dodson said. "There was no way he was going to let this one slip away."
Bacher and Durango golfer Tyler Coates parred No. 18 on the first hole of the playoff. The golfers moved to No.1, where Bacher nailed a 5-foot putt for birdie en route to collecting his first individual title of the 2004 season.
But Bacher is not the only Steamboat player shinning on the course these days. For the second-straight tournament, the boys from Steamboat Springs walked off the course with the team title.
Led by Bacher's score of 71, the team finished at 220 to win at Tiarra Rado. Durango was second at 224, and Fruita was third at 227.
"I was very pleased with the way my top three golfers played," Dodson said.
Ryan Brees fired a 2-over-par round of 73, and Kenton Gamache finished at 76.
The team capped off a strong week that saw Steamboat win two tournaments and make its bid to be recognized as the top 4A team on the Western Slope.
"We made a pretty big statement this week," Dodson said. "The rest of the league is talking about Steamboat Springs now."
While the coach was happy with the progress his players have made during the first four weeks of the season, he insists there is work to do. He thinks all of his top golfers can make improvements to their individual games in an effort to help the team as a whole.
Paul Berry, who has been away at individual camps and tournaments, is expected to return to the team next week and should strengthen the core of the squad. Tucker Smalley has been out with an injury and isn't expected to return until September. Dodson said Smalley would need to work hard to get back into shape and earn a spot on the varsity roster.
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