Sailors qualify for state tourney |

Sailors qualify for state tourney

Golf team finishes second at regional

— Before the regional tournament at Devil’s Thumb in Delta, thoughts were that a team score in the high 220s or low 230s would get a team to state.

Wednesday’s weather took those assumptions and threw them right out the door.

“It was the worst, most horrible conditions I’ve ever seen,” Steamboat Springs golf coach Steve Dodson said. “It was windy, cloudy, raining and about 50 degrees.”

“Hell,” golfer Billy Taylor said about the conditions. “The first nine was windy and bearable. Then the wind picked up, and it poured. When you can’t feel your hands, you can’t make a good golf swing.”

Despite the conditions – blinding rain and temperatures in the mid-40s – the Sailors were able to make enough good swings to clinch a berth in the state golf tournament Oct. 3 at Haymaker Golf Course. Steamboat’s score of 244 left it one stroke behind Western Region champion Basalt. Steamboat senior Paul Berry also repeated as Western Region champion, carding a 76, two shots better than Basalt’s Jim Knous.

“It was pretty nasty,” Berry said. “I have to say I have played one time that was worse than that. For me, it’s two things to play well in weather like that. One, it’s keeping your hands warm, and the other is keeping your head in the right place.”

Tucker Campbell shot an 83, and Michael Weston shot an 85 to round out the team scores. Taylor shot a 90.

“Our goal was to go to state as a team,” Dodson said. “I am proud of the way these guys managed the terrible conditions.”

Going into the tournament, the Sailors were as prepared as a team could be. They had played a tournament at Devil’s Thumb earlier in the season, as well as two practice rounds before Wednesday’s tournament.

Coach Dodson also credited assistant coach Scott Berry with preparing the team for the stern layout of Devil’s Thumb.

“He helped me get this team as prepared as any team in the last three years,” Dodson said. “A lot of credit goes to Scott.”

With the state tournament a little less than two weeks away, Dodson said he is happy that his team – despite the conditions – was able to fight through and reach the team goal of coming back to Steamboat to vie for a state title.

“I am delighted,” he said. ” I am happy in the fact that we get to represent Steamboat in the 4A championship at our home course.”

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

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