Steamboat golf takes second by a shot

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— On first look, it appeared the Steamboat Springs High School golf team had a good day Thursday at the Yampa Valley Golf Course in Moffat County.

Steamboat finished second with a team score of 236, just one shot behind the winner, Montrose.

But when Sailors coach Steve Dodson looked at the scores and the rounds Steamboat had been posting, a reccurring problem kept popping up.

"We're not polished," Dodson said. "We should be thinking better out there. We're throwing away shots."

Scott Ptach led Steamboat with a 78. Kaelen Gunderson and Alan Capistron shot 79, Jace Hvambsal shot 83, and Ben VonThaden shot 85.

Although Steamboat had three golfers in the 70s, Dodson said each player lost three, four or five shots Thursday because of mental gaffes.

He said although Steamboat has golfers that will battle until the end, the Sailors have to improve before the regional tournament later this month.

"We've got to work hard at practice," Dodson said. "But it's the course management and between the ears we need to improve on."

Although Steamboat was able to knock off its top competition, Montrose, on Wednesday at the Steamboat Sailors Invitational and finish within one shot of the Indians on Thursday, Dodson said the last thing the Sailors can do is expect their competition to have an off day.

He said the team will continue to work on its game for the next couple of days. The team travels to Aspen on Monday for a Tuesday tournament. Aspen hosts the regional tournament Sept. 23.

There, he said, the Sailors will play a practice round and be able to take detailed notes on the course. That should help give Steamboat a guideline to the course and cut back on the mental errors that have plagued the team for much of the season, Dodson said.

"Competitively, there's not a better bunch of kids that compete," Dodson said. "Working on the mental aspect of the game is growing. That's the coach's job. That's my job, and I take responsibility for that."

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