Casey Weston eyes his tee shot Thursday at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Springs High School golf team played host Thursday to its only home tournament of the season.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Casey Weston eyes his tee shot Thursday at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Springs High School golf team played host Thursday to its only home tournament of the season.

Steamboat again edged by Grand Junction at home tournament

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Grand Junction player Donny Kinnaman's score to 72.

At a glance

Steamboat varsity

Erik Sobeck 75

Britt Walton 75

Andrew Firestone 79

Brandon Martin 79

Casey Weston 80

Team scores

Grand Junction 224

Steamboat Springs 229

Fruita Monument 230

Vail Mountain 236

Vail Christian 238

Palisade 244

Summit 250

Moffat County 251

Coal Ridge 253

Eagle Valley 256

Battle Mountain 258

G.J. Central 294

Aspen 296

It was the second day in a row Steamboat Springs High School golf suffered a narrow loss to Grand Junction, but Sailors head coach Steve Dodson was excited about his team’s improvement.

Grand Junction carded a 224 team total, just five strokes ahead of Steamboat’s 229 in the Sailors Invitational at Haymaker Golf Course on Thursday. The Tigers also boasted the day’s medalist in Donny Kinnaman, who shot a 72. Fruita Monument finished third at 230 and Vail Mountain came in fourth at 236.

In all, 13 schools and 89 players competed at the tournament at the JV and varsity levels.

The Sailors may have fallen short of winning their only home tournament of the season, but Dodson saw a lot of good things out of his squad.

“I think what happened today is really exactly what I was looking for,” Dodson said. “They were disappointed with their play yesterday and their numbers. They just came out swinging today. I think they all had a good time out on the golf course, and it felt good to be home.”

Steamboat sophomore Britt Walton and senior Erik Sobeck each carded 75s for their team, well ahead of their scores from Yampa Valley Golf Course on Wednesday.

“I played solid,” Walton said. “The course was in great shape. I played a lot better today. I had less putts, and I only three-putted once. And the team I thought did a lot better today.”

The Sailors Invitational served as the final time Steamboat’s two seniors would play at home in their high school careers. Sobeck and fellow senior Casey Weston were accompanied by their families for all 18 holes before they said farewell to playing competitive high school golf at home.

Weston came out firing with a 1-over-par 37 on his front nine and finished at 80 for the round. The senior lamented missing some short putts but was pleased overall with his final home outing.

“I actually didn’t even think about that,” Weston said about his final home match. “It’s just been awesome looking back. It’s been so fun. It’s really awesome to see how far I’ve come as a golfer here. I remember my first tournament freshman year here. It’s amazing looking back on how much I’ve improved.”

With the regional championships less than two weeks away, Dodson said this week’s tournaments served as proving grounds for the seven seniors vying for the four slots at Gypsum Creek Golf Course. The Sailors’ next tournament is Tuesday at River Valley Ranch Golf Course, where the final four likely will be decided.

“It’s a fun process, but the final decision, it’s always difficult,” Dodson said. “They’re all seasoned veterans of this game of high school golf. They know what’s at stake. They know what they’ve got to do.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204 or email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com

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