Berry wins invitational

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Cam Fritz is one of many golfers who showed up for practice Monday afternoon at Haymaker Golf Club. Fritz and about 30 other junior golfers kicked off the high school season with the first practice of the school year. Steamboat Springs' Paul Berry won Monday's Denver Country Club Junior Invitational.

— Affirming his status as one of Colorado's premier junior golfers, Steamboat Springs' Paul Berry won Monday's Denver Country Club Junior Invitational.

Selected from the best 14- to 18-year-old boys and girls on the Colorado Junior Golf Association's point list rankings, Berry, tied for 11th on the list, started golfing among what he called a "pretty salty field," with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Berry said he was hitting the ball strong with an early eagle, a couple of pars and a pair of birdies to go four-under par. After one of the only two shots he said was memorably errant, which led to a double-bogey, Berry followed it with a birdie that kept him two-under par. He stayed two under to finish the course in 69 strokes.

Westminster's Joseph Schwark and Littleton's Tyler Parsloe tied for a second-place finish with even par scores of 71, and three golfers tied for third at 72.

"Nobody I played with was in contention," Berry said. "But it's an individual game. You have to stay focused."

The win caps off Berry's summer golf season of CJGA events nicely. At his first junior series win, Berry qualified to play in the CJGA Tournament of Champions on Oct. 7 and 8 at the Cherry Hills Country Club.

Berry said he also thought the win could move him up in the rankings to the state's top five.

For now, Berry is focused on his senior season on the Steamboat Springs High School golf team, whose first practice began Monday at Haymaker Golf Course. Sailors coach Steve Dodson said Berry is his team's No. 1 golfer and that he felt positive about Monday's strong turnout for team tryouts.

"It should be fun," Berry said. "We have a chance to play well and a have a lot of potential."

Steamboat's varsity team has its first tournament Thursday at Battlement Mesa.

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