Steamboat Springs golf team opens season with 5th-place finish at Battlement Mesa

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— It wasn’t close to the high point nor near the low point the Steamboat Springs High School boys golf team expects this year.

In its first outing of the season — Thursday at Battlement Mesa — Steamboat finished fifth at 235.

Grand Junction won the tournament at 223. Vail Christian was second at 225, Aspen was third at 227, and Fruita Monument was fourth at 232.

Erik Sobeck and Will Firestone each shot 78. Brandon Miller shot 79, and Andrew Firestone shot 82.

“After seeing some of our scores during our qualifier week and the type of play these kids have been exhibiting all summer ... we were expecting better,” coach Steve Dodson said.

The good news: Among the 20-team field, Steamboat was the top Class 4A school.

Dodson said the team never could build any solid momentum Thursday and never could do enough to string together birdies.

He cited the team's approach shots to the big, multitiered Battlement Mesa greens as a prime reason the team gave away some shots.

“We were leaving a lot of long birdie putts you can’t expect to make,” he said.

Still the team had three players log rounds in the 70s, something for which the team always strives.

And with an experienced group of players, all tournament tested, Dodson said he knows Thursday won’t be the highlight of the season.

“We’ve got talent,” he said. “It’s a real good group. One tournament is not the end of the world. I suspect we’ll have better results next week. Golf is complex. You never know what day you’re going to feel comfortable.”

The team next plays Wednesday at Gypsum Creek. The site is where the regional tournament will be played in September.

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

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