Gunderson takes 2nd in golf team's 1st tournament



Kaelen Gunderson, 76

Alan Capistron, 82

Patrick Weston, 86

Skyler Martin, 87

Rylan Laszewski, 88

— It's a good sign when the toughest part of Thursday's high school golf tournament is simply getting Steamboat's players out of bed.

Although the 6:15 a.m. wake-up call came early for the Sailors after a long summer, Steamboat Springs High School's golf team played relatively well at Battlement Mesa, logging a team score of 244, good enough for fifth place.

Montrose won the tournament with a team score of 236.

"Like I pretty much say every year, it's our coming out party tournament," Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. "We find out what areas of the game we needed to work on."

Steamboat was led by senior Kaelen Gunderson's 76, a score that tied him for second place overall.

Alan Capistron shot 82, Patrick Weston shot 86, Skyler Martin shot 87 and Rylan Laszewski shot 88.

Battle Mountain's Cameron Brown was the low medalist with a 67.

Playing a course measuring about 6,000 yards made for an interesting day. The short course allowed for players to take a lot of the hazards out of play. Dodson compared playing Battlement Mesa to playing Steamboat Golf Club.

"I'm not going to make an excuse of playing a short course. Everyone plays it," Dodson said. "We should have done better. One challenge of being on a short course is, it makes them think more about course management. It actually offered some good learning experiences for them."

Gunderson's round spoke to Dodson's assessment. The senior started out at 4-over-par through his first two holes, including a bogey and a triple bogey - something Gunderson said is a rarity.

"It's been awhile," he said.

Still, the senior turned his round right around. He carded four birdies on the way to his second-place finish.

Dodson said players have to work on some part of their game but that all need to sharpen their short games.

The team travels to Grand Junction next week for a tournament. Steamboat will play Bookcliff Country Club on Monday and Tiara Rado Golf Course on Tuesday.

Dodson said the team is familiar with the courses and that he expects scores to be better.

"There will be fast greens over there, as well," he said. "(Thursday) was a good experience for them. It shows what we have to do for the team to get better."


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