Steamboat golf qualifies 4 for state
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sailors head coach Andrew Donner said everyone wakes up feeling a little different on the morning of the Regional Golf Tournament.
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Steamboat Springs High School golfers got up feeling like state-bound competitors.
For the first time in Donner’s eight years as head coach, the Sailors qualified all four golfers for the state tournament.
“It’s the best result I can probably think of as a high school coach,” Donner said.
The Sailors competed at regionals on Indian Peaks Golf Course in Lafayette.
Senior Jack Rotermund and junior Tommy Henninger each shot an even-par 72, tying for third overall individually. Senior Colton Sankey carded a 75, and Ollie Rotermund added a 76-stroke performance to round out Steamboat’s state qualifiers.
As a team, Steamboat took third overall, falling short of second place by only two strokes.
Montrose took first and Mullen High School took second. Since Steamboat qualified all four golfers as individuals, they will still compete as a team at state.
Donner said this is not an easy task to pull off.
“Regionals is the stress event; state is the bonus,” Donner said. “It’s a tension-filled atmosphere — 18 holes. These five hours matter and everything else done up to this point doesn’t.”
At the beginning of the season, Sankey expressed his desire for redemption at the regional tournament, where he performed at his worst last year. Donner told him to take the tournament as a learning experience on how to play on the big stage.
“Last year, on the first tee, I hit a really bad first shot of the tournament,” Sankey said. “And this year I looked at it as I was going to have somewhere around 75 strokes. I started off a lot better, six over through the first 10 holes. I was looking to turn it around after that, and I did.”
It played out perfectly.
“When you’ve got a senior who’s never qualified for state before, you’re really hoping he can get that opportunity to go to state and experience it,” Donner said.
Henninger will also make his first appearance at state as a junior.
“He’s really struggled with his putting,” Donner said. “That’s been the thing the past couple of years, but he put some work in it, and it’s improved the past three weeks.”
For Jack, it wasn’t his first rodeo. The senior qualified for state for the third year in a row.
“Honestly, the main thing is patience,” Jack said. “A lot of kids come out here, and they push too hard in the first couple holes because they’re trying to get settled in.
“You don’t have to win regionals, you just have to get through it,” Jack added. “The main goal is state.”
Donner said Jack is a hard-worker but is also able to perform well in stressful moments. He’d only hit five greens in an even-par day at the course.
“He put his nose down and found the way to get an even par,” Donner said. “That’s a great round of golf.”
Ollie is also making his second trip to state. He made his first trip last year, when it was just him and Jack.
The Sailors will travel to Flying Horse Country Club in Colorado Springs for the state tournament Oct. 1 and 2.
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