Sailors golf finishes 8th at state; Nolting, Dinapoli crack top 30
DENVER — After concluding Day 2 at the Colorado High School Activities Association 4A State Golf Championships, Steamboat Springs High School golfer Jeremy Nolting ran the numbers in his head.
“I played fairly consistently ball-striking wise both days,” Nolting critiqued. “I relied on my short game. I made up and down on the front nine both days. I hit a total of seven greens in regulation today. The standard for me is about 12.”
He also mentioned he was 0-for-10 hitting the green on par-three holes.
Nolting took a hard look at the stats and seemed unexcited by his performance. As for the onlooker’s takeaway: He did pretty darn good. Nolting, a junior, finished the two-day tourney tied for 28th alongside teammate Michael Dinapoli with a stroke total of 154.
Still, he was happy to be one of four Sailors who qualified for state at City Park Golf Course in Denver.
“We got pretty fortunate at regionals,” Nolting said. “I felt very relieved because I was the last one who made it. My round at regionals was super sketchy. I was pretty happy. I knew we were all going to be fine. All of us can shoot low 70s if we have our head straight every time.”
At the beginning of the season, Dinapoli had high but obviously realistic hopes he would be at state. Just a sophomore, his first trip to the state’s biggest, most competitive tournament was a reconnaissance mission. He scoped out the players and the feel of the event and saw how he compared. Of course, he still wanted to be competitive and didn’t meet his own expectations.
“I felt like I could have done better today, but I did well overall,” Dinapoli said. “I was more consistent yesterday. Today, I started out pretty bad but brought it together towards the final holes.”
Dinapoli said he definitely didn’t have his head on straight through the first few holes. After three he was already five strokes over par. He tightened up his game on the back nine, shooting just two over par through the nine holes. On Monday, Dinapoli did well on the back nine as well, shooting one over par.
Fishing almost an hour ahead of Dinapoli was senior Travis Seitz. The Sailor was chipping away — no pun intended — at his day-one deficit and hoping to climb through the ranks. Seitz earned a 79 Monday and showed signs of making a comeback. After the first nine holes on Tuesday, he was just three over. However, he slipped on the back nine.
Steamboat Springs head coach Andrew Donner thought his team did well, especially on the tough course. Monday featured some of the most challenging pin locations he’s ever seen at a state tournament course.
“It was tough, made putting tough,” Donner said. “The guys kind of lost their confidence with their putters yesterday a little bit, that added some shots. I think they felt a little bit better on the greens today; the scores reflected that. Our scores came down.”
One hole ahead of Seitz was junior Colin Kagan. Kagan had a tough first day, swinging for 10 over par. Kagan usually hovers around two or three over par. Monday’s performance was very unlike him, and it continued into Tuesday. Kagan kept a good attitude through the day, despite going five strokes over par through six holes.
“Colin, he struggled the most probably,” said Donner. “It’s hard. You have such a good year like he did, then you win regionals, then you come up with expectations and then maybe it doesn’t start going the way you want then you put extra pressure on yourself. It makes it tough. It’s the first time he’s been to state.”
Kagan hopes to return to state as a senior next year. Kagan, Nolting and Dinapoli will all be back next year, so Donner thinks the team will be even better than the 2021 squad.
“I’ve got some maybe lofty expectations for next season,” he said.
Boys state golf
Team scores: 1. Riverdale Ridge 220. 2. Windsor
Top five: 1. Brentyn Paiz, Windsor, 138. 2. Reese Knox, Falcon, 140. 3. Ben Harding 141. 4. Jake Chesler, Frederick, 142. 4. Will Balliet, Riverdale, Ridge 142.
Steamboat finishers: 28. Michael Dinapoli 75-79-154. 28. Jeremy Nolting 78-76-154. 33. Travis Seitz 79-77-156. 52. Colin Kagan 80-83-163.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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