‘Making progress’ | SteamboatToday.com

‘Making progress’

Sailors happy after first round of state championships

Steamboat Springs Billy Taylor chips onto the 18th green at Haymaker Golf Course on Monday afternoon during the opening day of the state high school golf championships.
John F. Russell

— It wasn’t the start the hometown Sailors had hoped for, but at the end of the first round of the class 4A state high school golf championships the players and coaches were happy with the effort.

“We made way too many unforced errors, but overall I think we are making progress,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “Our team played hard, and with a lot of passion. It was fun to watch.”

The Sailors’ top player, Paul Berry, opened the tournament with several good holes. He teed off on the No. 10 hole and after completing the back nine was sitting one stroke under par.

“I made a few mistakes on scoring holes, but I was still under so I felt pretty good at that point,” Berry said. “I knew that I was going to have to make it through a tough stretch from No. 1 through No. 5, because those holes are tough for me. I made a bogey on two, and I bogeyed No. 5. But then I made a crucial error on seven and it started to slip a little bit. I came back a little ways – a 75 isn’t terrible, but it’s not the position I want to be in.”

Berry is eight strokes off the pace set by tournament leader Nick Umholtz, of Greeley Central, who finished at 67. Kent Denver’s Gunner Wiebe is in second at 68 and a pair of players is tied at 69.

“It will take a very, very good day for me to be back in it. I think I will be in the running for a decent showing, but it’s going to take a lot of work to win this,” Berry said.

But Berry isn’t the only Sailor looking to move up in the standings during the final 18 holes of the Colorado state championship.

Tucker Campbell is just four strokes behind Berry in the standings, after shooting a 79 on the opening day, and Michael Weston opened with an 80.

“It was a lot better than last year,” Campbell said. “I’m pretty happy with the way I played and I think if I can cut down on a few mistakes it will be even better.”

Billy Taylor made his first state appearance and after shaking off some early jitters was able to settle into his game.

“My first shot was probably my worst, but after that I calmed down and relaxed,” Taylor said. “It didn’t all come together on the back nine, but I putted the best I’ve putted all season.”

His coaches agreed.

“I think Billy played really well,” Dodson said. “This was a big step for him and we are going to be counting on him big time next year.”

The Sailors will return to the course today for the final 18 holes of the state championships. today’s round is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the top golfers from Monday’s round teeing off last.

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