MONTROSE — There had to be a point on Thursday when the Eagle Valley golf team was looking at its coach and saying, “Who are you and what have you done with Tom Buzbee?”
With the field playing from the tips, measuring 6,970 yards, and Cobble Creek in Montrose playing longer with recent rains, Buzbee took off the reins and told his players to grip it and rip it.
A pre-round talk about course management? No.
Regular talk about hitting irons and hybrids off the tee? Fuggedaboutit. (And, no, Buzbee does not have a New York accent.)
“They just stared at me,” Buzbee joked.
No Laughing Matter
The result was no laughing matter, at least in a good way. The Devils tied for 10th out of 18 teams on Thursday.
Tanner Caldarola and Jay Bullock both carded 86s, while Keaton Fedrizzi scored 88.
It’s important to remember that Eagle Valley started the season as a very young squad — Bullock is the only senior — with a rebuilding frame of mind. Scores are coming down in a big way for the Devils.
Bullock, for example shot a 106 during tryouts. Fedrizzi had a 99 at Eagle-Vail earlier this month. Even Caldarola, the team’s lone returning state-qualifier, has been in the 90s at one point this year.
“We tried something different,” Buzbee said. “We played high-powered golf. The greens were slower. The whole golf course was set up to do it. They just hit the ball hard.”
Eagle Valley will send its youngsters to the Vail Golf Club on Tuesday. The varsity squad heads to Yampa Valley on Wednesday and Haymaker on Thursday for its annual northern swing.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.