Eagle Valley takes fifth in Grand Junction | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley takes fifth in Grand Junction

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” The Eagle Valley golf team is close.

Close to hitting fairways, close to sinking birdies and close to threatening in tournaments.

The Devils competed in their second meet of the season on Monday, finishing fifth with 246 strokes at the Grand Valley High School Invitational at Bookcliff Country Club. Montrose claimed top honors with 223 strokes.

“Golfers think they can always do better,” Eagle Valley coach Tom Buzbee said. “We could have been at 240. As you can see, there was some tough competition. Now these guys are starting to come out of their shell a little bit with these other teams.”

All five Eagle Valley golfers who made the trip to Grand Junction played solid rounds, but none could break the 80-shot barrier. Bryan Matthews again played well, shooting a 80 after finishing with an 83 at Battlement Mesa last week. Matthews credited his extra work at practice for his consistent play.

“I have been working a lot on the range and trying to get all my clubs straightened out,” Matthews said. “Also, I’ve been trying to focus a lot on course management and making the right decisions.

“(Course management) is pretty crucial. Really, you can guarantee yourself a pretty consistent score if you concentrate on hitting the fairway. You can always make a two-putt and make par. Par is a good score.”

Bryan Brennan fired his second-straight 81 for Eagle Valley. Cooper Adams and Austin Fahrenholtz both carded an 85, and Kevin Stough shot an 89. Two regulars on the varsity black squad ” Chris Brubeck and Jamison Bair ” didn’t play on Monday.

“Both Bryan’s have been consistent,” Buzbee said. “That tells you something about seniors. I think the next time you see Chris Brubeck play, he’ll come back and be consistent ” Cooper, also. Those guys are not going to make mistakes.”

The varsity black team won’t be making the trip to Montrose today for a meet. Instead, Buzbee is sending his red and white teams to play. Derek Kasper, Nick Bontempo and Cooper Senn will all see their first tournament action. Of the 10 Devils playing today, four will be freshmen.

“The white team comes right out like Daniel to the lions’ den,” Buzbee said. “It’s the first high school golf competition those kids have seen. You might as well throw it at them.”

After today’s meet at Montrose, Buzbee plans to shake up his black, red, white and silver teams. He doesn’t expect a lot of movement, but wants to group players with similar ability.

“The goal isn’t really an up or down thing,” Buzbee said. “They all know they are going to get their playing opportunities. There isn’t this make or break feeling every time I adjust or make a movement. It’s more recognition that they played a little better. These guys are all really similar.”

Next week, Eagle Valley plays in meets at Eagle-Vail and at Cotton Ranch.

Sports writer Ian Smith can be reach at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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