Steamboat Springs’ Sam Samlowski tees off at Friday’s Rifle Invitational boys golf tournament.

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs’ Sam Samlowski tees off at Friday’s Rifle Invitational boys golf tournament.

Steamboat Springs High School golf team 5th in Rifle

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2012 Sailors boys golf schedule

— For the first time this season the Steamboat Springs High School golf team didn’t win.

But playing Friday at Rifle Creek Golf Course, Steamboat finished a respectable fifth with a team score of 252, despite not having several of its top players

Rifle won the tournament with a 221, and Aspen was second at 223.

“It can mess with your head, that golf course,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “We started on the back. Several of the kids, it took them awhile to settle down.”

The difficulty of Rifle's back nine is well-known. The backside cuts through Rifle Canyon and rarely offers a flat look at a hole.

Sam Samlowski led the Sailors, shooting 78. Sam Scheer, Spencer Petersen and Will Firestone shot 87, and Andrew Sabia shot 105.

“We got some experience for some of the kids,” Dodson said. “That’s good.”

Samlowski started on No. 10, facing the tough back nine right away. It didn’t seem to bother him as he carded a 2-over par 38 on the backside, including an eagle on the par 5 No. 17.

“I kept my game pretty solid,” Samlowski said. “I hit a bunch of greens and didn’t do too much out of my comfort zone.”

Steamboat next plays Wednesday in Cortez. It will be the team’s first look at Conquistador Golf Course, where the regional tournament will be played. That event, which decides who goes to state, is Sept. 18.

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

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