EAGLE — If you need a fifth in golf, Battle Mountain’s Tanner Crisofulli’s your guy.
OK, usually, you’re looking for a fourth, but a team can field five golfers for a high school golf tournament, and Crisofulli wanted to be No. 5 at Eagle Ranch on Monday.
“He asked to play (Eagle Ranch),” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “All my kids know the course, but he asked if he could be in the fifth position.”
And so it was that young Crisofulli went out and fired a 2-under 70, the lowest round by anyone from the four local high schools this season.
“Yeah, I love the course,” the junior said. “I wasn’t expecting 2-under.”
With that 70, the Huskies won their second tournament of the season with 230 strokes, edging Vail Christian (233) and Basalt (234).
Crisofulli said that “everything” was working. He had birdies on all four of Eagle Ranch’s par-5s. Crisofulli also took trips to the aviary on the course’s two short par-4s, Nos. 4 and 14, which are definite risk-reward holes.
“I like the fact that I can hit something beside driver off the tee and still birdie the hole,” Crisofulli said of Eagle Ranch. “It’s not abnormally long.”
That said, the field was playing from the blue tees, which measure 6,718 yards. It wasn’t like Eagle Ranch was playing as an executive course.
The secret to Crisofulli’s play was simple, as in the simple that if it really were, anyone could play golf. He missed just one out of 14 fairways. He was perfect on greens in regulation. He had no three-putts. When he ran into trouble, he minimized the damage, avoiding the ugly number. He had four bogeys, and nothing bigger.
It’s an easy game when you do that.
With Crisofulli lighting it up, Taylor Peel’s 78 (eighth place) and Michael Thompson’s 82 gave the Huskies their first tournament win since their home track, Eagle-Vail, last month.
Crisofulli knew he had a good round going, but said he expected some Saints to go low since Eagle Ranch is their loop for practice. Vail Christian did have some nice low numbers with Cooper Gould at 74 (tied for third) and Tony Clark at 76 (tied for fifth), but nobody besides Crisofulli hit red numbers. (Basalt’s Tristan Rohrbaugh was at level-par 72).
The Saints, with Christian Bohren (83) as their third, did edge out Basalt, 233-234, for top 3A honors. And since regionals are at Gypsum Creek on Tuesday, that’s a hot topic of discussion.
Speaking of which, 3A Vail Mountain was in the mix at 241. Senior Harrison Alonzo came around in 76 (tied for fifth) and Oliver Pesso’s 80 was good for a tie for ninth. Dylan Hardenbergh carded an 85.
Tanner Caldarola topped all Eagle Valley golfers with an 86.
The four local teams may be sending a few players to Breckenridge Thursday for a final tune-up, but everyone will convene Monday at Gypsum Creek for the official practice round before Tuesday’s regional round.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and via firstname.lastname@example.org.