Brees blows past field to take junior title
After winning the Haymaker’s 2004 Junior Championships on Tuesday afternoon, high school senior Ryan Brees retreated to the clubhouse deck to celebrate his victory over lunch.
He was happy to have won the title in the 16 to 18 division at the event, but it was clear that he wasn’t thrilled about his round that day.
“Horrible, I played horrible,” Brees said. But after thinking about his answer between bites of hotdog, he softened his position.
“Well, maybe not horrible,” he said. “I guess I played alright.”
Brees pocketed his first Haymaker title by firing a round of 76 on the course’s challenging, rolling fairways. He had to fend off a late charge by Nick Garrett on the final hole, but he held on to win in the final results.
Brees held a three-stroke lead when he teed off into the tall rough alongside the No. 18 fairway on his final hole. He ended up taking a bogey, but it was enough to dash any hopes Garrett had of winning the title. Garrett finished second at 78, and Scott Peterson came in third at 79.
“It was up and down all day,” Brees said. “I had a lot of birdies, but I also had a lot of doubles. I just wished I could have played more consistent golf.”
The Steamboat Springs High School senior said the title would have been more impressive if other top junior golfers Kenton Gamache, Paul Berry and Tucker Smalley had been in the field. The core group made up last year’s Steamboat Springs High School team, and those players also would have been in the running for the title.
Berry and Gamache were out of town, and Smalley is sidelined after breaking his arm in two places earlier this summer.
Smalley was sporting a plaster cast as he cheered for Brees on No. 18 Tuesday. Smalley, who was a standout as a junior on last year’s team, said he expects to miss the first several weeks of the high school golf season, but plans to be playing again before the regional tournament.
Other winners in the Haymaker Championship included Brandon Martin, who topped the youngest division for golfers between 6 and 8 years old.
He won a scorecard playoff after finishing in a tie with Joey Bartholomew and Charles Toye. Bartholomew took second, and Toye finished third. All three golfers finished with a five-hole round of 32.
In the 9- to 10-year-old group, Sam Harrelson took top honors with a nine-hole round of 52. Murphy Roberts was second at 57 and Charlie Von Thaden was third with a 62.
Cody Fritz topped the biggest field of the day by winning the 11 to 13 division with a round of 40. More than 20 of the tournament’s 51 golfers played in the division.
Mick Dierdorf took second after winning a scorecard playoff with Ian Heath. Both players finished with rounds of 43.
Tucker Campbell won the 14 to 15 division with a round of 81. He was followed by Jake Dombrowksi in second and Billy Taylor in third. Both golfers finished the round at 90.
— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
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