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Saints finish third in prep golf opener

PARACHUTE – Nothing’s ever decided on opening day of the golf season, but 3A Vail Christian left a nice calling card by finishing third with 233 strokes at Battlement Mesa on Thursday behind only 5A Fruita Monument (221) and 4A Steamboat Springs (230).

Only one tournament really counts and that’s regionals on Sept. 18 down in Cortez for all four local teams, and, of import for the third-place Saints, traditional 3A regional power Basalt was not in attendance. But no one in Vail Christian’s camp is going to throw back scores of 73 by Cooper Gould and 80s from Tony Clark and Robby Bowles in the opener.

“I think today was a great start to the season,” Saints coach Chris Coleman said. “I’m encouraged by the way they performed and pleased with the promise for the future. We definitely know there’s room for improvement.”

Though his 73 put him in fourth place in the individual competition, Gould had three three-putt bogeys. On the other side of the ledger, the sophomore birdied the par-5 seventh as well as the 11th at Battlement Mesa. Gould also played his back nine at even par, a stretch that included a nifty par save on the first hole – he started his day on No. 5 – with a flop shot.

“I left a few shots out there,” Gould said. “Other than that, it was a pretty good round.”

With Clark, a sophomore, and Bowles, a senior and two-time state tournament qualifier, both at 80, the Saints look to have some depth.

“They’re really looking strong,” Gould said. “We definitely have four guys who can shoot mid-70s.”

That would include Parker Poage, whom the Saints are hoping to get into a few of the myriad of tournaments next week.

Vail Mountain’s Harrison Alonzo posted an 80 for the Gore Rangers, who did not post a complete team score.

Battle Mountain had three in the 80s with Collin Hanson (84), Lucas Kern (88) and Carlos Holguin (89).

“They all had the jitters on the front nine and the back only got better,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “We’re going to be looking at a lot of players in different spots. I’m hopeful.”

Wyatt Johnson and Justin Hollis topped Eagle Valley with 95s.

“It’s a young team and eager group of a kids,” Devils coach Tom Buzbee said.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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