Brown batters Battlement Mesa; Huskies second
PARACHUTE, Colorado – Well, that was a nice start.
Battle Mountain’s Cameron Brown had Battlement Mesa’s par-5s for lunch – playing them in 6-under – in Thursday’s season-opening tournament in Parachute on his way to a 5-under par 67 and medalist honors.
Behind a round where Brown eagled three of the course’s four par-5s, the Huskies finished second with 237 strokes, one shot behind Montrose. Eagle Valley’s red team was eighth (248) and Vail Mountain was 14th (273) out of 18 teams.
With golfers playing from the silver tees at Battlement Mesa (6,037 yards,) the course was ripe for the taking, and Brown did so. Going out on the 10th hole, Brown bogeyed his first, but dropped an eagle on the 11th and birdied the par-4 12th.
With the exception of a bogey five on the 14, Brown parred the rest of “front” nine for a 35. He had a chance for a red number on the par-17th, but he sailed his 56-degree wedge over the green there.
Brown started the turn with a tweeter on the first. After a three-putt on No. 4, the senior went on a binge on Nos. 5-7, going eagle-birdie-eagle. Brown finished with a three-putt bogey on nine. In fact his three bogeys were all three-putts and those holes along with his trio of eagles were the subject of conversation after the round.
“On the par-5s, I just ripped them down the middle,” Brown said. “I had 6-iron, a 9-iron and punch 8-(iron) on my second shots. They were nice and tight. It’s a good start, but I need to get rid of those three-putts, and I’ll be happy.”
Brown unfortunately will get no sympathy from the rest of the field on that.
What was nice for the Huskies is that Edgar Gaspar came home in 83, while William Thompson and Cooper Beels carded 87s. While that put Battle Mountain in second, Huskies coach Cassie Desmone sees room for scores to drop in upcoming tournaments.
“They’re getting more consistent,” she said. “That’s a big improvement from last year. It’s a good start, but both Edgar and William are capable of dropping strokes. Those putts are going to go down for them.”
Stough leads Devils
The world of golf is a little finicky, and the dress code – John Daly aside – is always a topic of conversation.
Eagle Valley’s Kevin Stough did not have his shirt tucked in Thursday at Battlement Mesa, but he gets a pass. Stough broke his back skiing last winter in the Beaver Creek terrain park and was sporting a good-sized back brace in the season opener.
Despite not having much golf under his belt this year and the encumbering brace, Stough fired an impressive 80 Thursday to lead Eagle Valley’s red team.
“It definitely can be worse. It doesn’t hurt as badly as when I hurt myself,” Stough said. “I think this was my seventh round of the year. I haven’t played much and I couldn’t practice much.”
With golf being a such a game of touch, especially around the green, Stough’s 80 was a pleasant surprise. He also feasted on the par-5s with visits to the bird sanctuary on Nos. 17 and 5 and chipped in on the par-3 eighth. He reached the par-5s in two and two-putted those with the golfer’s best friend, the second stroke with the flat blade being an easy tap-in.
Eagle Valley’s red squad acquitted itself in fine fashion in the opener. Evan Buzbee fired an 82 and Cooper Senn came around in 86.
“These kids have never been in this (competitive) situation before,” Devils coach Tom Buzbee said. “The kids were all comfortable. As a coach, you can tell if they’re on edge. For a coach on Day 1, it’s pleasing that everybody was comfortable. That’s all you can ask for.”
VMS solid in opener
Vail Mountain’s Alex Bard qualified for state last year with a 95. VMS opened 2009 with all three of its golfers below that score Thursday.
Bard led way with an 87, while Jack Geddes put up a 92 and A.J. Yankee a 94.
“For the first time out, what was surprisingly impressive was their course management,” VMS coach Ross Sappenfield said. “The kids were playing at a more mature level. They were picking the right clubs for the situation and getting to the places where they wanted to go.”
Bard started on No. 5 with a birdie and nearly had another on the sixth when his 30-foot putt lipped out. He parred Nos. 7 and 8 for a very solid start.
As is common for any golfer, VMS struggled with consistency from hole-to-hole. Yankee’s 94 could have been a whole lot better had it not been for two far-too-adventurous holes.
Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley head to Bookcliff and Tiarado on Monday and Tuesday, The Devils will be sending their black squad for those tournaments. Meanwhile, VMS is at Ballyneal next week. The Huskies are scrapping their Montrose swing later next week, while Eagle Valley’s red and white teams will be at the Bridges and Black Canyon.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
Grand Valley Invite
Team Results: 1. Montrose 236; 2. Battle Mountain 237; 3. Summit 241; 4. Gunnison 242; 4. Delta 242; 6. Steamboat Springs 244; 7. Aspen 246; 8. Eagle Valley (red) 248; 9. Basalt 250; 10 Summit JV 253; 11. Grand Valley 259; 12. Glenwood Springs 264; 13. Rifle 265; 14. Vail Mountain 273; 15. Coal Ridge 279; 16. Roaring Fork, 300; 17. Eagle Valley (silver), 305; 18. Rangely, 338.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.