Steamboat Springs A solid front nine, and an even better showing on the back nine, helped senior Kaelen Gunderson lead the Steamboat Springs High School golf team to a second-place finish in Montrose on Thursday.
"I'm really happy with how well our guys have played the last couple of days," coach Steve Dodson said.
Gunderson's personal-best round of 68, four under par, highlighted the Sailors' day at the Cobble Creek golf course in Montrose. Steamboat's Scott Ptach shot a 76, Alan Capistron shot a 78 and Skyler Martin finished with an 80. Ty Hvambsal also pushed the pace with an 81.
"I was pretty excited," Gunderson said. "That was the low round of my career."
Gunderson said the excitement came after a slow start to the round.
"I three-putted No. 1 and ended up getting bogey on that hole," Gunderson said. "It was pretty frustrating. But I was able to get it back, and after the first nine, I was even."
Then, on the back nine, things really started to come together for the Steamboat golfer. He put together a string of birdies and a couple of pars to get to four under. He scored a bogey on 17 but rebounded by finishing the round with another birdie.
Cortez won the tournament with a team score of 218. Steamboat was second at 222, and Montrose was third at 225.
"Looking at the scores, we really felt like we should have won this tournament," Gunderson said. "But Cortez had a really good day and earned this win, but we are right in there with these teams and we can beat them."
The tournament marked the end of a busy week for the Sailors, who finished third in Delta before traveling to Montrose.
The team has a few days off before hosting the Steamboat Invitational on Wednesday at Haymaker Golf Course. On Thursday, the team travels to Craig to play a tournament at the Yampa Valley Golf Course.