Junior golfer Billy Winters chips onto the No. 9 green at the Steamboat Golf Club during Wednesday's Steamboat Golf Club's Cowboy Shootout. Winters played in the 10- and 11-year-old age division.

Photo by John F. Russell

Junior golfer Billy Winters chips onto the No. 9 green at the Steamboat Golf Club during Wednesday's Steamboat Golf Club's Cowboy Shootout. Winters played in the 10- and 11-year-old age division.

Texan takes Cowboy Shootout title

Houston golfer shoots past field in local tournament


Cowboy Shootout results

- 16 to 18 years old

Chris Lauinger, 71; Taylor Branstetter, 77; Alan Capistron, 81; Rylan Laszewski, 89; Skyler Martin, 94; Shaq Torrella, 102; Carson Becker, 105.

- 14 to 15 years old

Zephyr Erickson, 82; Sam Samlowski, 88; Sam Scheer, 88; Christian Arnold, 116; Justin Ditter 133.

- 12 to 13 years old

Brandon Martin, 48; Zack Dunklin, 60; Devin de Jong, 64.

- 10 to 11 years old

Jake Lauinger, 46; Billy Winters, 56; Charlie Smith 59; Channing Conner, 66; Collin O'Hare, 73; Leah Caragol, 81.

- 9 and younger

Fischer Matthews, 20; Andrew Kasten, 27; Conner Etzler, 28; Cody Winters, 30; Avery Locke, 38; Cruz Erickson, 41; Sequoia Anstine, 43; Jason Oehme, 47.

— For the second time in three years, Houston resident Chris Lauinger has lassoed the title in the Cowboy Shootout junior golf tournament.

"This is probably my last junior tournament," the 18-year-old said after winning Wednesday's tournament at the Steamboat Golf Club. "It's a good local tournament. I played in it two years ago and shot the same score and won."

Lauinger shot a 71 to lead the field in the 16- to 18-year-old division of the tournament, which is sponsored by the men's club at the nine-hole course west of Steamboat Springs. The club helps support the tournament and pays for prizes awarded to the players. Steamboat's Taylor Branstetter was second at 77 and Steamboat's Alan Capistron was third with an 81.

Lauinger cruised to the front of the pack with a solid front side and opened the second nine with an eagle on the No. 1 hole.

"There are options on this course," Lauinger said. "You can take driver on a lot of holes because they're short and almost drivable. But it's so tight you risk going in the water or out of bounds."

He was three under at that point, but a bit of bad luck on No. 2 put his lead in doubt - if only for a moment.

"I was feeling pretty good after the front side, but on the No. 2 hole, I hit it out of bounds and then almost hit it out of bounds again. But luckily, I just saved double," Lauinger said. "I hit the telephone pole, and it bounced out of bounds."

Lauinger rebounded with a birdie on his second-to-last hole to dampen any hopes that Branstetter, the second-place finisher, had of moving past the leader.

"I was looking for an opportunity, but it just didn't happen," Branstetter said. "I knew I was in the running, but he was pretty far ahead of me the whole time."

Lauinger's family comes to Steamboat Springs for several weeks each summer to vacation, and he plays in the Cowboy Shootout when possible. He missed last year's tournament because he was working on a community service project, which was required by his high school for graduation.

Zephyr Erickson overcame a few problems on the green to win the 14- and 15-year-old division with a round of 82.

"I was hitting the ball well," Erickson said. "I missed some easy putts that cost me a few strokes, but other than that, I played pretty well."

Sam Samlowski and Sam Scheer tied for second in the division with rounds of 88. Erickson said he has played in several area tournaments this week and is hoping that the experience he gained in the Cowboy Shootout will help him with tryouts for the high school team in early August.

"My goal is to make varsity this year," Erickson said.

Other top finishers at this year's shootout include Brandon Martin, who won the 12- and 13-year-old division with a nine-hole round of 48; Jake Lauinger, who won the 10- and 11-year-old division with a nine-hole round of 46; and Fischer Matthews, who won the 9-and-younger division with a five-hole round of 20.


steamboatsprings 7 years, 9 months ago

Excellent Job Chris!! You are a great player and a class act.


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