Wednesday, September 7, 2005
It was clear after Wed--nes--day's third-place finish that the members of the Steamboat Springs High School golf team are focused on getting back on top of the Western Slope League.
"We're not happy with third and fourth," Sailor Michael Weston said after his best round of the season. "We want to win."
Steamboat's Jake Dom--browski, who led the junior varsity class in Wednesday's tournament, and teammate Tucker Campbell took their desire to win one step further by heading to the driving range after the final hole of the Steamboat Invitational -- despite having just spent five hours on the golf course playing 18 holes.
"This group is hungry," coach Steve Dodson said. "We are close, and these guys are getting a taste of what it's like to be a top team. There's no doubt we are taking the steps to get there."
Again on Wednesday, the Sailors were close -- finishing just a few strokes off the pace set by Fruita Monument.
The Wildcats finished with a team total of 222 to win the Steamboat Invitational. Montrose was second at 229, and Steamboat finished third at 231.
Montrose's Ryan Klippert shot 71 to lead the field of more than 100 golfers in the tournament. Fruita's Chace Nathe was second at 72. Steamboat's Paul Berry, Montrose's Erik Lundberg and Fruita Monument's Matt Motz all finished at 73.
"I didn't play my best today," Berry said. "I wasn't striking the ball as well as I would have liked to, and I struggled with my putting."
Despite his disappointment, Berry's round was one of many highlights for the Sailors.
Berry was 1-under on the front nine and was in contention to win the tournament through the final hole.
He just missed a 40-foot putt for eagle that would have brought him back to even par.
"You always want to give yourself a chance to win," Berry said. "I did my best to keep in it until the end, but I left a lot of shots on the course."
Steamboat sophomore Michael Weston was another highlight for the Steamboat team.
Weston shot a personal-best round of 76 and helped boost the Sailors in the team standings.
"I was really focused, and it all came together on the course," Weston said.
After opening with a bogey, Weston rebounded with seven straight pars. He also had two birdies during the round.
Dodson said he was happy with the way the team played Wednesday and said Weston's performance is the type of spark the Sailors need to get over the top.
Steamboat's Cody Fritz finished with an 82 and Billy Taylor finished at 83. Campbell finished with an 85.
The team will travel to Craig today to play in the Moffat County Invitational. The tournament begins with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.