Henninger feels Haymaker’s wrath at challenging home invitational
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On his second shot on hole 18, Steamboat Springs senior golfer Tommy Henninger walked right up to the ball and swung. His father, watching on, shook his head, surprised his son didn’t take a practice swing.
Henninger’s quick hit sent the ball to the right of the green, into the thicker grass on the side of a slight hill. His father sighed, saying his son rushed it.
Henninger wasn’t rushing, though.
“People tell me that, that I rush, but I honestly don’t feel like I’m rushing at all,” Henninger said. “I don’t get it. I take the time I feel like I need. I don’t see the reason to have a super elaborate routine when I know I’m ready to hit the shot.”
His following chip was gorgeous, rolling all the way to the pin, but circling before kicking out a few inches back onto the green.
He finished the day with a 78, good for 13th at his home Sailor Invitational at Haymaker Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 5.
“It’s always good to shoot in the 70s, but I’d love to have three, four strokes off,” he said.
Moffat County senior Hayden Short had a rough final hole as well, to the point he didn’t even finish it.
“Initially, I lost it, then I kind of found it for a second, hit it, then it went way out,” he described. “Then I was like, I guess that’s it. I guess I’ll be done for the day.”
Although he’s a senior, it’s Short’s first season with the team and his first time realizing how tough a course Haymaker can be.
“It’s kind of eye opening to see different places and get to experience new courses, and it’s fun talking to people,” Short said.
Short earned a 99 on the day, helping the Bulldogs to a team total of 284, good for 14th overall.
Montrose won the meet with a 221, one stroke over Aspen. Jordan Jennings of Montrose and Josh Stouder of Fruita tied for 71, forcing a playoff hole.
Junior Beck Kuhlman paced the Sailors, finishing with a 76, just five strokes out of first.
“I played solid today,” Kuhlman said. “There was definitely a couple missed strokes out there that I could have shot a lot better. I played fine. I’m happy with it.”
Kuhlman was neck and neck with 2018 state champion Micah Stangebye of Montrose through the final holes.
Hole 14 saw both sink it in three strokes, while 15 was more of a challenge. Stangebye’s initial shot was farther than Kuhlman’s and his drive to the green was more centered, but Kuhlman nearly cut a stroke off the lead with his chip.
Aiming downhill and slightly to the left, Kuhlman nudged the ball out of the thick grass and onto the smooth green. It drifted slowly down the hill, curving toward the hole but stopping just short.
Kuhlman said his best hole was the next one, 16.
“I hit a really good drive, carried over the bunkers,” he said. “I hit a good wedge in there. I had to rough myself a 10-footer for birdy, so that was a pretty good hole.”
Meanwhile, the Sailors’ No. 4 golfer, sophomore Travis Seitz, put up an 81, while No. 3 golfer, freshman Jeremy Nolting, earned an 85, and Spencer Romig swung for an 86. The Sailors took fourth overall with a team total of 235.
While the Steamboat coaching staff spent most of the day inside moderating the meet, assistant coach Tim Dever did get to spend some time on the links.
“We’re happy with where we’re at. We’re just trying to build,” he said. “All that really matters is regionals. Really the most important things is to qualify. Everyone on our team played today, and they all played well.”
Steamboat Sailors Invitational
Haymaker Golf Course
Team scores: 1, Montrose, 221. 2, Aspen 222. 3, Fruita Monument 232. 4, Steamboat Springs 235. 5, Gunnison 236. 6, Basalt 245. 7, Eagle Valley 250. 8, Central Grand Junction 251. 8, Summit 251. 10, Grand Junction 256. 11, Moffat County, 284. 12, Rifle 273. 13, Meeker 277. 14, Vail Mountain School 281. 15, Beuna Vista 285. 16, Cederedge 294.
Individual top 10: 1, Josh Stouder, Fruita, 71. 1, Jordan Jennings, Montrose, 71. 3, Jack Pevny, Aspen, 72. 3, Nic Pevny, Aspen, 71. 5, Micah Stangebye, Montrose, 73. 6, Jorge Bolanos, Central Grand Junction, 75. 7, Beck Kuhlman, Steamboat Springs, 76. 7, Ryley Cibula, Summit, 76. 7, Carson Kerr, Grand Junction, 76. 7, Griffin Pederson, Gunnison, 76.
Other Steamboat finishers: 13, Tommy Henninger 78. 20, Travis Seitz 81. 20, Jack Becker 81. 27, Jeremy Nolting 85. 27, Colin Kagan 85. 31, Spencer Romig 86. 35, Caleb Anderson 87.43, Colfer Jack 89. 43, Charlie Thompson 89. 77, Anthony Mathey 102. 80, Parker Moline 103. 85, Dawson Homes 105. 85, Logan Spiegel 105. 95, Fielding Reese 110. 98, Bradley Brungardt 120.
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