Steamboat Springs The Sailors didn't win Wednesday in Delta, but coach Steve Dodson was happy with what he saw from his team on the difficult Devil's Thumb course.
"We left a couple of strokes out on the course today, but I was proud of the way our guys grinded it out on the course," Dodson said.
The coach said he had strong showings from Steamboat Springs High School golfers Kaelen Gunderson and Scott Ptach, who both came in at 74. Skyler Martin fired a personal-best round of 80, and teammate Alan Capistron finished with an 81. Battle Mountain senior Cameron Brown shot a 69 to win the tournament.
"I'm really pleased with the way our guys are playing," Dodson said. "It's been Skyler's goal to contribute to our team score, and he was able to do that today. I think Skyler is really starting to find his game."
Durango won the tournament with a total team score of 225. Cortez was second at 227, Steamboat finished third at 228 and Battle Mountain came in fourth at 229. Montrose, one of the favorites to win the regional title this season, finished fifth at 232.
Durango was the only 5A school at the top of the standings and will not be in the running for the 4A regional title. However, Dodson thinks this season is going to be a dogfight between Montrose, Battle Mountain, Cortez and Steamboat.
"I think this week, and next week, we're really going to find out who we are and where we stand," Dodson said. "The competition on the Western Slope this season is tight. It's going to be tough to win the regional this season, and I'm just glad that we get to play for the title on our own home course."
The top team, and top nine individuals in the region, advance to the state tournament.
Dodson said his top guys are on the cusp of playing under par, and he is excited about the way the other players are developing.
"My start was a little shaky today, but halfway through I figured out my driver and started getting more pars and birdies," Martin said. "I think I'm starting to loosen up out there. I'm not so worried about my score but more concerned about how I'm playing. I was really pleased with the 80 today - breaking 80 has been my goal for a long time, and I feel like I'm really close."
Sailors veteran Scott Ptach said he maintained an even keel during Wednesday's round.
"I had a few good shots in there, but it was just steady. I didn't do anything drastic," Ptach said.
He bogeyed the final two holes and said he was a little disappointed he didn't finish stronger.
"That kind of finish can bug you," Ptach said. "It's always nice to finish strong."
The good news is that he will have another chance today, when the golf team travels to Montrose for another tournament.