Golfers have fun in Fruita

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— For Steamboat Springs golf coach Steve Dodson, Tuesday's round in Fruita Monument served as a relaxing outing for him and his golfers.

After weeks of trying to prepare and pick a roster for the regional tournament at Devil's Thumb on Sept. 20, Dodson was able to take five golfers to the Fruita Monument tournament at Adobe Creek National Golf Course and "just have fun."

"It was a short, tight little golf course," Dodson said. "It is nothing like we're going to play at regionals but we decided, 'No big deal, let's go play golf.'"

Even with a team mixed with some varsity and junior varsity players, the Sailors had a team score of 239, good enough for third place. Fruita Monument won with a team score of 226. Grand Junction finished in second with a 235.

Michael Weston and Cam Fritz shot 79, and Billy Taylor shot an 81 to post the team score. Cody Fritz's 83 and Tyler Ostrom's 86 rounded out the scores for the day.

Considering neither Dodson nor his team had seen the golf course before, Dodson said he was happy with the way Steamboat performed.

"They played it blind," he said. "They had to figure it out as they went. That's always a good test for young golfers when they have to try to figure their way around."

Still, Dodson knows a decision on his final roster for regionals is imminent. He said Taylor and Cody Fritz are battling for the final spot on the varsity team along with Paul Berry, Tucker Campbell and Weston.

Campbell and Berry have finished atop tournaments this year.

Dodson said he will take all five to Devil's Thumb and have a playoff with Fritz and Taylor during the practice round.

"They know where they stand," Dodson said. "We'll take them down to regionals, and they'll play, and whoever plays better will play the next day."

This week at practice, Dodson said he will work with the five guys he plans to take to regionals. He said he will run simulations of Devil's Thumb.

He said it will take three scores in the mid-70s to get his team to state.

"We know that golf course well," he said. "When we get down there, there won't be any surprises."

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