The Steamboat Springs High School golf team preps for the regional tournament Tuesday in Rifle. Back row, from left, are coach Steve Dodson, Erik Sobeck, Brandon Martin and Andrew Firestone. Kneeling is Sam Samlowski.

Linda Sobeck/courtesy

The Steamboat Springs High School golf team preps for the regional tournament Tuesday in Rifle. Back row, from left, are coach Steve Dodson, Erik Sobeck, Brandon Martin and Andrew Firestone. Kneeling is Sam Samlowski.

Steamboat's Sobeck qualifies for state golf tournament

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— As a sophomore, Erik Sobeck learned that sometimes the best approach to golf is simply not to think.

After battling up-and-down rounds throughout the season, Sobeck decided Tuesday at the regional tournament in Rifle simply not to think about his swing mechanics.

“This time,” Sobeck said, “I just swung, and it worked out.”

Sobeck carded a 4-over par 76, a career-best round that qualified him for the state tournament.

This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Sailors have qualified at least one player for the state tournament.

Sobeck’s day highlighted an otherwise rocky outing for the Sailors. A pair of freshmen, Andrew Firestone and Brandon Martin, struggled to an 88 and 90, respectively. Sam Samlowski shot a 96.

“Personally, I’m thrilled,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “I really believe we would get one, maybe two, to go to state. (Sobeck) had just a great round.”

Starting on Rifle’s tough back nine, Sobeck carded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. After a double-bogey on No. 12, Sobeck got it back together.

He birdied the par 5 No. 18 on his way to an even-par 36 on his front nine. He had birdies on Nos. 2 and 5 before he started thinking about his score.

“I started to realize this could be a special round,” said Sobeck, who shot 84 at Rifle in an August tournament. “You have to put that type of stuff out of your head. Don’t get ahead of yourself, or you’ll start to play bad.”

A hooked drive on No. 8 led to a double-bogey, and a pushed tee shot on the No. 9 par 3 left him with bogey. But Sobeck had done enough early — and registered just 28 putts on the day — to make up for the late mistakes.

He now turns his attention to the Oct. 3 and 4 state tournament at Pelican Lakes Golf Course in Windsor.

The par-72 course plays 7,214 yards from the back tees and takes golfers across the Poudre River four times.

“It’s a good milestone to get to state,” Sobeck said. “I’ve worked so hard throughout the year for this. It’s nice to put it out there on the day that it mattered.”

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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