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Sailors edged at home

Montrose and Steamboat Springs are proving to be the best 4A golf teams on the Western Slope this season.

So it was no surprise that both teams, along with 5A Grand Junction, were battling for the title during the 2004 Steamboat Invitational Golf Tournament on Wednesday morning at Haymaker.

When the final scores were tallied, it was Montrose (224) taking the win by just three strokes over Grand Junction and Steamboat (227) in the team race. Gunnison’s Tom Huckins recorded the lowest individual round of the day with a 69.

“It was clear that our kids were working hard and grinding it out all day,” Steamboat coach Steve Dodson said. “We let a few opportunities slip away, but the kids gave it 100 percent, and that’s all I can ask.”

However, it was easy to see from the reaction of the Steamboat players after the round that they were not happy to settle for third in the only home tournament of the season.

That they tied second-place Grand Junction at 227 strokes (the Sailors lost in a scorecard tie-breaker) or that they were just three strokes off the pace set by the winning team from Montrose was of little consolation to the squad’s members.

“We all know what we are capable of doing,” Steamboat’s Paul Berry said. “We have the ability to win every tournament we are in — so when we don’t win, we are disappointed.”

Montrose won the tournament thanks to Chris Lunberg’s round of 74. Collin Covault and Ryan Klippert finished at 75 to give the team a team total of 224.

Grand Junction had a solid showing from Sam Krey and Rich Elmer who finished at 74. Dane Hamilton rounded out the team’s efforts with a score of 79.

Steamboat was led by Berry and teammate Ryan Brees, with rounds of 75. Hans-Peter Bacher’s 77 rounded out the team score.

Tucker Smalley, who was playing in his second tournament since returning from a broken arm, shot a round of 78, and Kenton Gamache finished at 82.

“I was a little disappointed with my play today,” Berry said. “I was striking the ball really, really well. I think I had a chance at birdie on 17 out of the 18 holes. But I just couldn’t get it done on the green.”

Dodson said he doesn’t want his players to look back on the tournament and second-guess their play.

“You can always look back and think about things that you could have done better,” Dodson said. “If you do that too much it will drive you nuts.”

Luckily, the Sailors will not have much time to look back on the invitational. The team is scheduled to play again today in Craig.

Steamboat also has two junior varsity squads playing in the tournament.

The first team led by Tucker Campbell (80), Billy Taylor (83) and Scott Peterson (89) finished with a team score of 252.

The other team included Jake Dombrowski (89), Tyler Ostrum (94) and Ian Landy (95), and finished at 278.

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com


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