Monday, September 18, 2006
Steamboat Springs When the Steamboat Springs golf team surveys its situation heading into the regional tournament Wednesday, it has to feel pretty good about where it stands.
The Sailors have finished no worse than third in a tournament this year. Paul Berry and Tucker Campbell have both finished atop tournaments this year. Devil's Thumb, the course where regionals will be played, is very similar to Haymaker Golf Course.
Still, the Sailors aren't ready to punch their card to the state tournament, which will be held at Haymaker, yet.
"Cautiously optimistic," said coach Scott Berry of his team's approach to the regional tournament. "You never want over play your hand. Anything can happen. I think the kids are all peaking at the right time, but I think there is some pressure on them with the state being here at Haymaker."
A quick look at Steamboat's region shows why Berry might be a little concerned. Delta has won five tournaments this year and boasts one of the top golfers in the state in Jim Knous. Fruita Monument and Rifle also pose a threat to the Sailors. Only the top two teams from the regional tournament make it to state.
"I think we can do well," Sailor No. 1 golfer Paul Berry said. "I think we can do as well as we need to do to qualify. It's all a matter of timing with team golf."
When looking at the teams in the regional field, coach Berry said a team score between the high 220s and low 230s will probably get a team to state. That's a score the Sailors have consistently shot all year.
When the Sailors take to the links Wednesday at Devil's Thumb in Delta, nothing the course provides will be a surprise. In late August, the Sailors finished third at Devil's Thumb with a score of 237.
In addition, Steamboat was able to play a practice round there earlier in the year. They'll also play a practice round Tuesday. The course layout is very similar to the Sailors' home course at Haymaker.
Devil's Thumb demands precise drives and accurate iron play.