Sailors short at state golf |

Sailors short at state golf

— A rough first day of the Class 4A state golf championships ruined most of the chances the Steamboat Springs High School players had to challenge for the win, but coach Andrew Donner said the team bounced back with a strong performance Tuesday to finish the tournament and the season on a high note.

“We thought if we played solid, we could finish a little better, but it was a tough golf course, and the kids really fought hard and gutted it out,” Donner said. “They really put their heads down and put up their best numbers today, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Britt Walton led the team in overall standings, finishing in a tie for 14th with teammate Will Firestone. Both were 13 over par. Walton got there by shooting a 77 Monday, then came back with a 76 Tuesday. Firestone shot an 80 Monday, then took a big step forward to drop a 73 Tuesday.

Jack Starkey, meanwhile, also was greatly improved. After shooting at 88 Monday, he dropped nine strokes to card a 79 Tuesday to finish in a tie for 51st.

“Britt shot two consistent scores, but his putting kept him from getting those low numbers he was looking for,” Donner said. “Putting really was our Achilles heel all season, and it came back to bite us.”

It all added up to a tie for sixth in the team standings for the Sailors. They had a combined score of 473, 53 over par, locking them even with Golden and two behind Thompson Valley in fifth. Valor Christian won the event decisively, running away with it by finishing five over par. Silver Creek was second at +33, and Evergreen third at +36.

Silver Creek’s Jackson Solem won the individual state championship at -1.

“We were hoping for a little higher,” Donner said. “The first day was pretty rough. We really struggled with the speeds on the greens and they started, but we got three scores in the 70s today, so that was pretty good.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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