Kagan wins regionals as all 4 Sailors golfers qualify for state
MONTROSE — For Steamboat Springs High School golf fans, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news, the team finished third at Cobble Creek behind Montrose and Mullen, so they didn’t automatically qualify as a squad. The good news, all four finished in the top 15 and qualified individually for the state tournament in Denver in two weeks.
“There were a couple guys on the team that said we could have easily won that,” said head coach Andrew Donner. “Regionals are harder than state. There’s a lot of stress.”
Steamboat finished third with a combined stroke total of 235, just two strokes out of first place. Montrose won with a 233, and Mullen was in second with a 234. The Montrose team was back-to-back state champions in 2018 and 2019 and finished third in 2020 behind second-place Mullen. The fact that Steamboat was on pace with the championship-caliber teams is a good omen ahead of state.
Sailors junior Colin Kagan was the regional champion, winning the title in the last stroke of the last hole. Kagan and Montrose sophomore Noah Richmond were even through holes 16 and 17 at one over par. On 18, Kagan sank a putt for par, while Richmond hit a bogey, or one over par.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Kagan said. “I would never have expected winning today’s event from last year, since last year at regionals, I did not perform well. I didn’t even make it to state. I never expected that.”
Kagan won. All year, his coaches and teammates have commented on the quality of Kagan’s play. He capped it off with a regional victory.
“Colin’s just really grown as a golfer in general,” Donner said. “As much as anybody I’ve coached, he understands how to play the game and knows how to get the ball in the hole. He doesn’t get rattled. He’s been doing it all year, and he did it again today.”
Kagan’s day started off extremely well. He cruised through the front nine one under par. On hole 10, he shot a three on a par four, moving to two under. He was confident going into the second half of the day.
“I just started off well with a few pars and got my momentum going and continued to do well,” Kagan said. “It was my start that got me in the zone.”
Senior Travis Seitz and sophomore Michael Dinapoli were the next-best Steamboat finishers, tying for 10th with an 81. Jeremy Nolting was 14th with an 83.
Donner said Seitz didn’t have his strongest day. Considering he still qualified for state, that says a lot about what his strongest days look like. Nolting played simple golf, setting himself up for success, Donner said. Dinapoli could have had an outstanding day if he got his putt game going.
“He put himself in a lot of great positions; he just couldn’t get the ball in the hole today,” Donner said. “He could have knocked nine shots off just putting.”
4A Region 4 Regionals
Links at Cobble Creek
Team scores: 1. Montrose 233. 2. Mullen 234. 3. Steamboat Springs 235. 4. Denver North 243. 5. Summit 247. 6. Palisade 249. 7. Durango 255. 8. Battle Mountain 258. 8. Denver South 258. 10. Northfield 279. 10. Rifle 279. 12. George Washington 283. 13. Central Grand Junction 297.
Top 10: 1. Colin Kagan, SS, 73. 2. Noah Richmond, Mo, 74. 3. Ryan Brady, Mu, 75. 4. Sawyer Klein, DN, 76. 4. Alex Morrall, P, 76. 6. Jack Newton, Mu, 77. 7. Ricky Ahlquist, S, 79. 7. Jake Legg, Mo, 79. 9. Liam Beshoar, Mo, 80. 10. Travis Seitz, SS, 81. 10. Michael Dinapoli, SS, 81. 10. Ranger Stone, S, 81.
Sailors finishers: 14. Jeremy Nolting 83.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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