Steamboat Springs High School golfer Sam Samlowski celebrates after sinking a putt for birdie on the No. 4 hole at Haymaker Golf Course on Thursday morning.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School golfer Sam Samlowski celebrates after sinking a putt for birdie on the No. 4 hole at Haymaker Golf Course on Thursday morning.

Steamboat Springs golf team improves at home

Sailors place 5th at Haymaker tournament

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Sailors golf at Haymaker

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Steamboat Springs High School golfer Brandon Martin reacts after missing a putt on the No. 4 hole at Haymaker Golf Course on Thursday.

— An up-and-down season got a little better Thursday for the Steamboat Springs High School golf team.

After struggling in Craig on Wednesday, the team knocked 16 shots off its total Thursday at Haymaker Golf Course, shooting a 241 to place fifth.

But again, scores were all over the board for the Steamboat Sailors.

The high score Wednesday in Craig was Spencer Petersen with a 95. Petersen played for the junior varsity Thursday and had Steamboat’s low round with a 78.

“They all know what they’re capable of,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “They just got out of the routine of things. It was a much better effort all around” Thursday.

Grand Junction won the Haymaker tournament in a playoff, shooting a 231. Montrose was second, and Fruita-Monument was third.

For Steamboat’s varsity team, Andrew Firestone led the way with a 79. Erik Sobeck and Sam Samlowski each shot 81, Brandon Martin shot 84, and Casey Weston shot 86.

Playing in ideal conditions and on a course in phenomenal shape, it was easy to see why an inexperienced Sailors team has had its high and low moments this season.

Each player endured a stretch of tough holes, mostly because of an errant shot or miss-hit putt.

Firestone carded birdies on Nos. 7, 11 and 13 but missed a few putts he typically would make.

“I was pretty pleased with it,” Firestone said. “I could have got back a couple of strokes, but overall I was pleased with it. This was my home course, and I was more comfortable on it. I know I slept a lot better last night.”

With the team less than two weeks away from the Sept. 20 regional tournament in Rifle, there are still six players fighting for regional team spots.

The team continues play at 9 a.m. Monday in Aspen, its last regular-season tournament before regionals.

Dodson said he’s looking for more consistent play and lower scores because by the time regionals come, it’s far and away the most pressure any of the young Sailors will have faced.

“We only have a couple weeks left, and it’s time to get down to business,” he said. “We can’t keep throwing away shots and turning in high numbers. You have to get comfortable with shooting low. So when you get in a pressure-cooker situation, which regionals is, you’re not in a panic.”

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