School’s still out, but golfers almost in full swing
Vail, CO Colorado
When the first day of school rolls around, most athletes will still be in preseason mode.
The golfers, however, will be in midseason form with their eyes on the state playoffs.
This week, Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain got a few rounds closer to the meat of their schedule. And fortunately, they did so with not too many swings.
The Devils pulled in teams scores of 238 and 240 at Tiara Rado Golf Course and Bookcliff Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, respectively And the Huskies weren’t far behind at 249 and 250.
“I’m extremely happy with the way they are playing,” said Eagle Valley coach Glen Ewing.
Eagle Valley’s top trio of Jamison Bair, Bryan Brennan and Brian Matthews led the way both days.
“They are all within one or two strokes of each other,” Ewing said. “We’ve been really consistent.”
Chris Brubeck, who has been breaking his best personal scores tournament after tournament, shot an 84 for Eagle Valley at Tiara Rado.
“We’ve got 16 kids and anyone of them can rotate in the fourth or fifth spot.”
While most golf teams take five kids to tournaments, only the top three scores are counted.
For Battle Mountain, Cameron Brown continues his string of sub-80 rounds. Brown shot a 78 at Tiara Rado and had a 79 at Bookcliff to lead his team. Diego Gaspar pulled in two great rounds, with an 81 and 83, while Geoffrey Funk shot a 90 and 88.
“We’re doing much better this season thus far,” said Battle Mountain coach Cassie Desmone.
The Huskies were without the services of other top golfers Dustin Martin and Barrett Chow.
“Dustin has been playing well all summer,” Desmone said.
One thing Desmone is counting on this year is for her top golfers to be closer in scores than last year.
“The boys feel so bad if two do well and we don’t have a third team score … it helps that everyone is giving it their best shot,” she said.
Ewing has been keeping a close eye on how his team stacks up to the competition. The Devils are at the top of the league with Steamboat and Cortez, all of whom are behind seemingly unbeatable Basalt.
“It’s going to be who gets lucky at Cortez (where regionals will be) to see who gets to go at state,” Ewing said. “If we can keep where we’re at, we’re in contention for third of fourth. What we’ll be working on is putting. We had some really good putts fall, but we’re still missing 3-foot putts occasionally.
“We’ve yet to play our best golf where some other guys are playing their best golf now.”
Wednesday and Thursday, Tom Buzbee took a group of Eagle Valley golfer to Montrose for two rounds. Thursday, Ethan Smith led the Devils at the Black Canyon course with a 78, followed by Austin Fahrenholtz with an 84 and Kevin Stough with an 88. Evan Buzbee came in with a 95 and Jalen Aquino had a 100.
The previous day, the Devils got a taste of The Bridges Golf Club, a new, high-end course. Aqunio led the squad with an 89, while Smith and Fahrenholtz both shot 92. Stough (96) and Buzbee (99) kept the team from hitting in the triple digits.
“I’m glad Glen is doing this,” Tom Buzbee said of sending more kids to tournaments. “If you only keep five kids on the team, the rest will go away and lose interest. You’ve gotta keep them going.”
Both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley will be practicing the rest of the week and early next week in preparation for their home tournaments. Wednesday, Battle Mountain hosts a handful of local teams at Eagle-Vail Golf Club, then on Thursday Eagle Valley will do the same at Cotton Ranch Golf Club.
“I want to finally win that,” Desmone said of the Eagle-Vail tournament.
All golfers for both teams will be in action Wednesday and Thursday.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.