Sailors finish third |

Sailors finish third

Golf team leaves shots on Haymaker course

Steamboat Springs golfer Michael Weston chips onto the green at the Haymaker Golf Course on Wednesday. The Sailors hosted schools from across the region during the high school tournament.
John F. Russell

— Steamboat Springs High School golf coach Steve Dodson made one thing clear when he met with his team after Wednesday’s tournament at Haymaker Golf Course – the Sailors have to play better if they want to compete with the top teams in the state.

Steamboat’s score of 233 was good enough for third place – four shots behind Basalt and Fruita-Monument, but the coach and players agreed that it wasn’t good enough if they want to reach their goal of coming back to Haymaker as a team for the state tournament.

“All five of our guys need to shoot in the 70s,” Dodson said. “They’re all capable of doing that. We haven’t found that day, but it’s coming.”

Paul Berry’s 73 was good enough for third place. Michael Weston shot 79, and Cody Fritz shot 81 to round out the team’s scores. Tucker Campbell shot 84, and Billy Taylor shot 85.

Jim Knous of Basalt was the low medallist with an even-par 72.

Dodson said he thought his team played tense and left too many shots out on the course. Case in point: Berry’s 73.

On No. 8, Berry tried to cut the corner off the tee, and his ball found the hazard area. Then, on No. 13, he put his second shot 15 feet from the hole on the par five. He three-putted for par.

“It was encouraging and disappointing at the same time,” Berry said. “Those rounds where you don’t have those errors are few and far between. I was close but no cigar. It’s just a matter of putting it together when it matters.”

Still trying to balance his varsity team, Dodson contributed some of the errors to the team being “uptight.” He said he couldn’t fault the effort, but he said the Sailors may have been trying too hard at their home tournament.

“That’s natural,” he said. “They have to work through that. The more experience they get, the better. If you don’t have butterflies, you’re not breathing.”

Coaches from other schools were complimentary of the condition of the course and the service of the staff. Dodson said that’s something to be expected.

“Without Haymaker giving up this golf course for six hours and (Superintendent) Bill Whelihan, we don’t get 17 schools coming to this tournament. That’s all Bill and (head golf professional) Hank (Franks).”

Maybe the best thing that could happen to the Sailors is today’s tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig. Assistant coach Scott Berry said being able to play back-to-back tournaments will help his players forget about the shots they should have made Wednesday.

“They all know they can play better,” he said. “They realize there is room for improvement.”

With the regional tournament on the horizon and the state tournament less than a month away, Dodson still believes his team can be one of the best in the state.

“Our confidence level hasn’t changed,” he said. “We’ve had confidence in this team since Day 1.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail

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