Sailors finish third

Devil's Thumb has hand in golf team's results

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All the excitement the Steamboat Springs golf team was feeling after breaking par to win an Aug. 23 tournament in Carbondale by 19 strokes disappeared at the mercy of the Devil's Thumb golf course in Delta.

The Sailors fired a team score of 232 to place third behind Montrose and Fruita-Monument, respectively, Thursday, ending their run of three straight tournament victories.

"It was a tough golf course, and collectively we didn't perform as well as I had hoped or as well as they hoped, either," Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. "You never perfect this game. The moment you think you've got it is the moment you go out and realize you don't."

Ryan Brees and Hans-Peter Bacher fired rounds of 76. Kenton Gamache and Paul Berry each shot 80. While many people would be happy with rounds of 76 or 80, the four top Sailor golfers were not. All four are capable of shooting at under par, which easily would have made up the nine-stroke difference between Steamboat and champion Montrose.

"It's a bit of a wake-up call," Dodson said. "After our last victory and the margin of victory we had, we might have been feeling a little confident. It wasn't real bad golf, but each one has some areas that we are going to address."

Steamboat's last tournament was Aug. 23 before playing in Delta on Thursday. The nine-day layoff between tournaments may have helped the Sailors lose the momentum they had going in late August.

The Sailors don't have such a layoff in the near future. Steamboat plays at Eagle Ranch in Eagle on Tuesday before hosting a 15-team tournament at Haymaker on Wednesday, its only home tournament of the season.

"Eagle Ranch has a lot of native grass areas like Haymaker," Dodson said. "It's a really nice course."

Teams from Montrose, Durango and Moffat County are expected to attend Steamboat's tournament Wednesday, Dodson said. Tee times for the tournament are 8 a.m.

Steamboat's varsity hasn't been the only busy high school team. The increased number of players this year has allowed Dodson to form a traveling junior varsity squad.

Two Steamboat teams played at the Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig on Wednesday, and the top junior varsity team finished second, highlighted by several rounds in the mid-80s.

"It was a healthy competition for all to get under their belt," Dodson said.

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

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