Deviled in Delta

Steamboat team struggles in tournament

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— The best news for the Steamboat Springs High School golf team Wednesday at Devil's Thumb in Delta was that today begins a new day and a new tournament.

Steamboat posted its worst tournament score of the season Wednesday - a 246 - to finish sixth, 17 shots back of winner Montrose.

Cortez and Eagle Valley tied for second with team scores of 233, while Fruita (236) and Battle Mountain (245) finished ahead of Steamboat.

"The golf course won today," said Sailors coach Steve Dodson, whose team travels to Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose today. "It's going take some shots away from you, but we threw away some shots and made some unforced errors."

Steamboat - which usually finishes near or ahead of Montrose and Cortez - struggled with the elevated tee boxes, greens and blind shots in Delta.

Scott Ptach and Ben VonThaden paced the Sailors with 81s. Usually the team's top two golfers, Kaelen Gunderson (84) and Alan Capistron (87) struggled Wednesday. Rounding out the day for Steamboat was Patrick Weston (90) and Skylar Martin (93).

"We're going to review the rounds, and I'm going to pick through each one and find some kind of positives in every one of them," Dodson said. "We're going to take that into (today) and forget about what happened" Wednesday.

Although Dodson said the team was upset with the round at Devil's Thumb, he said he was happy with the way the Sailors battled. Still, Dodson said the Sailors aren't going to use excuses. Simply put, Steamboat didn't play up to its abilities.

"It was a pretty tough course, and I was happy to get out of there with an 81," VonThaden said. Today "we're going to a new golf course that's easier. This has been our worst tournament showing, but I'm confident we'll turn it around."

Dodson said Cobble Creek will present different challenges than Devil's Thumb. He said the Montrose course is flatter, with wider fairways and larger greens.

Dodson knows Steamboat has to play better, especially with Montrose and Cortez - Steamboat's two biggest competitors in its region - playing so well.

"They saw the scores. They saw Montrose, and they saw Cortez," Dodson said. "They know the big picture and what it's going to take to get to that picture."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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