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Steamboat Springs golfers driving toward end of season, Regional

Steamboat Pilot & Today
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— It’s only September, but it’s already crunch time for members of the Steamboat Springs High School golf team.

“We have a tournament Monday in Vail, but I haven’t decided who is going to that event,” head coach Andrew Donner said. “The regional (tournament) is a week from Monday, and I want our (varsity) players to have a really strong week of practice. It’s been hard to have regular practices with all the tournaments and travel this season. This will be a good opportunity for our players to fine-tune their games and get them ready for the regional.”

On Thursday, the varsity team wrapped up what Donner thinks will be the final regular-season meet of the season for the four players he expects to compete at the regional tournament, which will take place Sept. 19 at the Adobe Creek Golf Course in Grand Junction.

In the latest tournament, The Keystone Ranch Invitational, Steamboat players faced an unfamiliar course and tough, windy conditions in a round that stretched for more than six hours. The Sailors placed sixth in a field of nearly 20 teams, many from larger schools on the Front Range. Aspen’s “A” team edged out Summit to win the tournament. Mullen was third, Aspen’s “B” team was fourth and Arapahoe High School placed fifth.

Donner said the players’ scores reflected the conditions, but he was happy with the scrappy effort on a course most of the Steamboat players had never played.

The Sailors were led by senior Nolan Sankey, who shot an 81. He was followed by freshman Tommy Hinninger, who finished with an 84, and senior Jacob Taulman, who shot an 86. Sophomore Jack Rotermund finished with an 88, but in a format similar to what the Sailors will see next week at regional tournament, only the top-three scores are counted in the team results.

The showing at the Keystone Ranch Golf Course marked the end of a busy couple of weeks for the Steamboat golf team, including a trip to the Tiara Rado and Bookcliff golf courses during the last week of August. Donner said the Sailors’ latest run has him excited about the direction his players are headed as they enter a very important stretch of the season.

“I was very happy with the way our players performed, especially at Tiara Rado,” Donner said. “We finally went to a course that wasn’t our home course and had two players finish in the 70s. I think we are trending in the right direction.”

Henninger led the team at the Central Grand Junction Invitational, which was held Aug. 30 at the Tiara Rado golf course near Grand Junction.

Steamboat finished fifth in the tournament, thanks to Henninger’s team-leading round of 75. He got help from Rotermund, who shot a 79; Taulman, who shot an 80; and Sankey, who finished with an 83. Montrose won the meet, fiollowed by Aspen and Grand Junction.

It was Steamboat’s second fifth-place finish of the week.

A few days earlier, Aug. 28, the team also had a solid showing at the Grand Junction Tiger Invitational, which was held at the Bookcliff Golf Course. Rotermund led the team with an 80, followed by Taulman, who shot an 82; Sankey, who shot an 83; and Henninger, who rounded out the Sailors’ efforts with an 86.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966


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