Golfers have trouble defrosting at Eagle-Vail | VailDaily.com

Golfers have trouble defrosting at Eagle-Vail

Ian Cropp

Bret Hartman/Vail DailyVail Mountain's Conch Beery watches a put lip out on hole 11 Wednesday at the Eagle-Vail golf course during the Battle Mountain Invitational.

EAGLE-VAIL – It’s about that time in the golf season.The time when scores should be peaking, and, when frost delays play for an hour-and-a-half.In Wednesday’s Battle Mountain Invitational tournament, the Huskies made good use of their home course to place second, while the Devils had trouble shaking off the frost, and posted scores higher than normal. Durango won the tournament with a score of 232.The Eagle-Vail Golf Club treated the teams to a round of golf that lasted almost eight hours. After delayed tee times, golfers had to endure long waits to start some holes.

“On a round like today, you can’t really get a rhythm,” said Eagle Valley coach Glen Ewing. Many of the Battle Mountain golfers had trouble on their home course, as well.”I got a little cold, and we had to wait a while, so my game just kind of got lost off that,” said Battle Mountain’s Kyle Woods.One player who didn’t have much trouble was Jason Funk. The day belonged to the Huskies’ golfer, who shot a 75, and finished second overall.

“I switched my driver today, and I was crushing the ball,” said Funk. “I feel a lot more comfortable on this course than others.”Funk was happy to return to Eagle-Vail after shooting a 100 Tuesday in Aspen. His score on Wednesday was two shots shy of tying his lowest round at Eagle-Vail.Derek Rush followed Funk with an 82, and Zach Domenico rounded out the top three for the Huskies with an 84. Other finishers include Matt Berry, 85, Dustin Martin 92, Kyle Woods, 90, John Ryan Melzer 94, Barrett Chow, 96, and Diego Gaspar, 100.The Huskies had fan support on their course in the form of school administrators dressed in Battle Mountain jerseys. But no school principal short of Phil Mickelson could have sunk putts for some of the Huskies.

“Nothing was going in like it should have,” said Chow. “I probably lipped out more putts, than total putts I had.”Chow drove the ball well on Tuesday in Aspen, however, and shot an 84.Smith on top for Eagle ValleyThe Devils haven’t had much experience playing at Eagle-Vail.

“At Eagle-Vail, there are so many places to get in trouble, and we found them,” said Ewing “Some scores were over 100, but on a course like this, it’s fine.”With many varsity players resting for regionals, the Devils brought a group of younger players. On top of the leader board for the Devils was Ethan Smith, with an 86.”I was not consistent,” Smith said. “I went from bogies and birdies, to double and triples bogies, to pars.”The greens were tough to play, even when they were reachable in regulation.

“I missed a 5-foot putt – that was the story of the round,” Smith said.Bryan Matthews continued to be the mark of consistency for the team, shooting a 94. In the past four tournaments, he has shot two 93s and two 94s.Zach Bailey shaved 18 strokes off his score from the front nine to finish the back with a 48, well off pace from his 87 on Tuesday. Other finishers include, Parker Ray, 96, Chris Brubeck, 98, Cody Coulter, 100, Shelton Adams, 101, and Cooper Adams, 111. A few balls landed out of bounds or in the water, but the Devils enjoyed their last tournament before regionals.

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“My bag is a bit lighter – I had a lot of penalties,” said Brubeck. “My worst day on the course is better than my best day of school.”Tuesday both teams will be at regionals in Yampa Valley.”Regionals will be easy compared to this course,” Ewing said. “The course in Yampa Valley is bogey friendly.”Sports writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado