Steamboat golfers blow away competition

Team shoots under par, wins by 19 strokes

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— Steamboat Springs golf coach Steve Dodson believes in solid preparation. He holds team meetings to discuss holes and pre-tournament routines.

The Sailors take advantage of their practice rounds as further preparation for tournament play, but on Monday a group of Steamboat players did something that perhaps even Dodson wasn't prepared for: They shot under par as a team.

The trio of Ryan Brees, Paul Berry and Kenton Gamache combined to shoot a 1-under 215, defeating runner-up Roaring Fork by an absurd 19 strokes at Monday's tournament at the par-72 River Valley Ranch in Carbondale.

It was Steamboat's third straight tournament win.

"I'm real proud of the kids when they go out and perform that way," Dodson said. "That shows me their focus is there and their determination is there. I don't think a (Steamboat) team has shot under par at a scholastic event. I don't have the 12-year history. My guess is it's never been done."

Haymaker pro Hank Franks, whose son Jeff played for four years for Steamboat, didn't know for sure either but doubted many local teams, if any, had accomplished such a feat.

Brees shot a 3-under 69. Berry, in his first tournament of the season for Steamboat, fired a 1-under 71. Gamache rounded out the Sailors' scoring with a 3-over 75.

Tucker Campbell and Scott Peterson shot 83 and 86, respectively, but only three scores counted toward the final team score.

"(River Valley Ranch) is one of my favorite courses in the state," Dodson said. "It's a very player-friendly golf course. It's not tricked up. There aren't a lot of blind shots. It's pretty straight forward."

Dodson attributed much of Steamboat's recent success as a team to eliminating inconsistencies, which has resulted in lower scores. Hans Peter-Bacher, who has played a key role in the Sailors' early season success, did not play Monday.

"We have a real strong varsity squad," Dodson said. "We have some high goals set for this year. Each tournament is another piece of the puzzle."

Despite the season-best round, the team cannot be satisfied, Dodson said. Steamboat was scheduled to play a two-day event in Montrose today and Thursday, but the tournament was moved to Sept. 15 and 16.

The weekend off will allow the Steamboat players a chance to practice at home. "We'll work on different skills to continue to improve," Dodson said. "I'm happy to have a weekend home to practice. I don't want them to lose focus."

The Sailors return to the course at 9 a.m. Sept. 2 in Delta.


-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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