Young golfers on hot streak | SteamboatToday.com

Young golfers on hot streak

Steamboat's PGA Junior League golf team poses with the scorecard after beating a Denver team earlier this month. The team that day consisted of, from left: Dave Adujo, Caleb Anderson, Travis Seitz, Max Rotermund, Jack Thompson, Ollie Roterumund, Colton Sankey and Tommy Henninger.

— A Steamboat Springs team had never played in the PGA Junior League before this summer, so young golfers, their coaches and parents didn't really know what to expect when a 10-player local "all-star" team began play earlier this month in the nationwide match play tournament.

Whether or not it knew what it was getting into, the team has rampaged through its bracket, defeating teams from around the state, and now it's set to travel to Taos, New Mexico, for the next stage, a showdown against a squad from El Paso, Texas.

"The kids are psyched," said Luke Brosterhous, director of golf at Catamount Ranch & Club and a coach for the team.

"It's been a great experience for them, and we're definitely looking forward to going down there to play," he said.

The whole thing started with about 40 Steamboat golfers, a team each from the city's four golf courses — Steamboat Golf Club, Haymaker Golf Course, Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course and Catamount. They battled this summer in a series of four matches.

The order of finish — Catamount, then Haymaker, Steamboat Golf Club and Rollingstone — determined how many players each course got on a Steamboat all-star team.

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That team then set out to play teams from other cities, and it has done so like a wrecking ball.

Playing a two-player scramble format featuring eight players from each team, athletes work through nine-hole matches, each worth three points, to determine winners.

First up was a comfortable win against a Grand Junction team.

It was closer in the next round, 7-5, against Colorado Springs, and again versus Denver, 8-4.

Now Steamboat’s heading to Taos to try to keep its winning streak alive.

It does so with a roster of players between 11 and 13 years old. The team includes Tommy Henninger, Max Rotermund, Ollie Rotermund, Jack Thompson, Colton Sankey, Caleb Anderson, Dave Adujo, Ryan Peck, Travis Seitz, Mike Dinapoli and Zach Walsh.

"They have good skill sets, and they all hit the ball well, all putt well and all chip well," Brosterhous said. "They have been super motivated and just keep getting better.”

The team has been sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Youth Golf Association, which has helped foot the bill for the competitions.

"Our hope was that this program would be a vehicle in which the kids could excel and progress," Brosterhous said. "That's the key in developing young golfers, and we've definitely seen that with this group."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9