Sailors win by eight strokes at Cotton Ranch

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— It's good to be on top again.

After finishing in the top 5 - but never reaching No. 1 - in every tournament this year, the Steamboat Springs High School golf team put together three scores good enough on a tough Cotton Ranch golf course for first place, eight shots ahead of Eagle Valley.

"It's a nice win," Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. "It was a small field but a nice win."

The team wasn't the only champion Thursday.

Senior Cody Fritz shot a 79, one shot better than teammate Michael Weston, to take low medalist of the day.

"I think I'm doing a lot better now," Fritz said. "I'm working on my consistency as holes go by. I used to get a birdie then screw up and get a double bogey, but my chipping is better. And from 100 yards in, I used to not be able to hit the green - I do now. It's just taken a while."

Billy Taylor (83), Kaelen Gunderson (84), Cam Fritz (86) and Scott Ptach (89) rounded out the Sailors scores.

The tournament concluded a hectic start to the season for Steamboat.

The Sailors have played seven tournaments in the past two weeks, including two in the past three days.

"These guys have been crunched in this car driving seven hours," Dodson said. "We're all tired, and (Thursday) we sent them out there to have some fun and they ended up winning."

Dodson said the team got out of the trip exactly what he wanted. On Wednesday, the team was able to see the Cortez course where the regional tournament will be played in a month. Then, Thursday, the Sailors got the confidence boost they've been searching for.

"For a lot of these guys, they hadn't seen the golf courses," Dodson said. "In a two-day period they worked hard. They really did. They were out competing and working hard for every shot. For that, I applaud them"

With school starting Mon-

day, Dodson said the team will take next week easy, with its only tournament at Devil's Thumb in Delta on Wednesday.

Dodson said the team will also be preparing for its home tournament Sept. 5 at Haymaker Golf Course.

"I hope everybody out there comes out to Haymaker on Sept. 5 and watches the team a little," Dodson said.

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