Huskies ready for regionals
At the Eagle-Vail Golf Club with its elevation changes, blind tee shots and sloping greens, home-course advantage counts even more.
So it was not too much of a surprise that Battle Mountain defended its crown at Eagle-Vail Monday. The surprising part was the way they won it.
The Huskies quartet shot the lights out.
Ben Vancuren and Clint Wilson carded 73’s – with the former winning a one-hole playoff for medalist honors. Austin Chow came in with a 74. One sign of how good a day it was for Battle Mountain was that the so-called “worst” score of the day came from Keith Denton with a 77, a score for which most Eagle-Vail regulars would sell their left kidney.
“On this course, local knowledge is very helpful,” Vancuren said. “There are trick shots, a lot of blind tee shots. You have got to know what you’re doing. I was pretty solid the whole round, 36-37. Normally I have one good nine and one bad nine. This time it was pretty solid.”
Vancuren went low by birdieing four of Eagle-Vail’s five par-5’s – Nos. 1, 8, 11 and 18. Chow, a long hitter off the tee, also had it going with the flat blade. He had a big birdie putt on 14 and followed that with a clutch par save on 15. For Denton, the key to his round was a birdie on the treacherous par-5, 11th.
Battle Mountain heads to the Haymaker G.C. in Steamboat next week for regionals. Tuesday is a practice round and Wednesday’s the big show. The top two team and the top 10 individuals head to state. Battle Mountain played there last week against most of the regional field and finished third.
“To be quite honest, we’re looking pretty good,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “We do have some competition. We need to watch out for Cedaredge, Aspen and Steamboat. We played very well at that tournament where all our competition was last week. We got third place. We just need to step it up a little bit.”
“Compared to the other courses, it’s pretty straightforward,” Vancuren said. “You just have to hit it well off the tee. The greens are fine. There’s just a lot of water. If it’s windy, it’s going to be pretty interesting.”
Chip shots: Battle Mountain also sent a crew to Rifle on Tuesday. Vancuren had an 80 while Wilson finished with an 83. Chad Roush carded an 88, while John Peterson came home in 90. The Huskies finished 10th out of 22 teams. … Thursday’s tournament at Eagle Ranch was rained out.