Huskies’ Denton makes state
The smile was the dead giveaway for Battle Mountain’s Keith Denton at Wednesday’s 4A Golf Regional Tournament at the Montrose Golf Club.
“My team was scattered around the course because they grouped them by their season average. So I’m going all over the course, checking after my players,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “Every chance I got to look at Keith, he was smiling. If he’s smiling, he’s right on.”
A correct assessment by the coach and Denton can keep smiling because his 75 Tuesday earned him a berth in the 4A state meet at Cattails Golf Club down in Alamosa, Sept. 29-30.
Denton was the second, low-medalist in the individual race. The top two teams – Steamboat and Montrose – as well as the top five individuals, not on those teams, made state.
“I’m really relieved. It felt good,” the senior said. “It feels good that I could just come out and play well in the last tournament. My putts were really on, and I was hitting better than in tournaments before.”
The short game was Denton’s bread and butter. According to Desmone, Denton spent many an hour leading up to regionals, working on his putter. And, his short game came through.
That is not to say that Denton is a lightweight off the tee. On No. 3 Tuesday, he drove the green on a par-4 and two-putted for birdie.
On No. 10, from 120 yards out, he stuck a pitching wedge to within three feet. He canned the put to enter the bird sanctuary.
After 11 holes, Denton was sitting at one-under on the par-70 course. He had a key par-save on 13. His 5-iron from 210 yards came up short of the the green. But, up-and-down did the trick to avoid bogey.
“Keith’s strength is around the green, chipping and putting,” Desmone said. “The greens were really running fast, especially with the wind. He had been practicing with his putter and he finally got it down. Since I got Keith as a freshman, I’ve wanted him to make state. So I’m very excited.”
Down the stretch, Denton played safe, par golf. Even two bogeys on 17 and 18 weren’t too worrisome, a delightful prospect, given that he lost out on state berth in a playoff at regionals in his junior year.
“Keith said to me, “If there’s another playoff, I’m leaving, Ms Desmone,'” Desmone said with a laugh. “I told him I didn’t think he had to worry about it.”
Now, Denton has to worry about state in l=fewer than two weeks.
“I’m going to hit some balls, get in a few rounds and try to keep my game going,” Denton said.
And practice on the smiling, Keith.
Huskies fourth at regionals
Led by Denton’s 75, the Huskies took fourth place with a score of 240.
Senior Clint Wilson made his final appearance for the Huskies with an 80. Junior Austin Chow drove the ball well, but his flat blade betrayed him on the way to an 85. Calder Cahill rounded out the Huskies foursome with a 109.
Individually, it was a good day for Battle Mountain. Chow was named all-conference for his season effort and Wilson got honorable-mention honors.
Devils finish with best outing
Eagle Valley golf finished with its best outing of the season at regionals.
The Devils shot a season-low 262 and ended up in the middle of the standings, Eagle Valley’s best finish of the season.
“It was good to finish on a good note,” Devils coach Glen Ewing said. “Most of the kids who went to regionals started in the high 90s and worked them down a lot.”
The proof is in the numbers at regionals. James Ewing led with an 84. Senior Dan Sample fired an 88, while Ben Morris, who had never touched a golf club until this summer, carded a 92.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.