Steamboat Springs golf team continues hot start

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— Now that’s a start.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Steamboat Springs High School golf team has won a tournament.

The difference Monday at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction was that the Sailors faced a full regional field and also had the low medalist.

Steamboat shot a team score of 231, three shots ahead of second-place Fruita-Monument and Aspen.

Top regional foe Montrose shot a 238.

Sophomore Brandon Martin played lights-out Monday, earning low medalist honors with a 1-over-par 72.

“It was really tough conditions and a challenging day,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “It tested their mental toughness. They had to make yardage adjustments on just about every hole because of the wind.”

With winds gusting upward of 40 mph, the course played games with the field. But Steamboat’s deep quartet of experienced golfers was able to adjust its game.

In addition to Martin, Erik Sobeck shot 78, Sam Samlowski and Andrew Firestone shot 81s and Casey Weston shot 89.

“I liked the way they managed their way around the golf course,” Dodson said. “It was a good job.”

None did a better job than Martin. He started on No. 8 and immediately attacked the back nine. He carded three birdies and the rest pars on his way to a 3-under par back nine.

After starting strong on the front nine, Martin admitted his score got in his head. Despite the 71, he double-bogeyed the last two holes, including two three-putts.

But he played the wind spectacularly. He said he played a power draw and hook to negate some of the wind. He'd also add or subtract 40 to 50 yards per shot depending on the wind direction.

The team has little time to relish in its victory. The Sailors continue play Wednesday at Eagle Vail and Thursday at Gypsum Creek. The team also might play Friday in Rifle.

“We still got work to do,” Dodson said. “We’ll continue to discuss all the little aspects of playing in tournaments.”

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

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