Rifle golfers make it two wins in a row
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado – Rifle boys golf coach Jordan Smith grabbed his team’s shiny new plaque and put on a pride-packed smile.
“This will go right in the trophy case,” he said. “Two in a row.”
With four players posting scores in the 70s on Friday for the second straight day, Smith’s squad picked up a team title on its home course. Just a day earlier, the Bears topped the field at Black Canyon Golf Club in Montrose.
“I’m a very proud coach,” Smith said. “The win from yesterday means even more than today, just to have it back to back. These kids saw some success yesterday and just rode that success all day today. I haven’t seen some of these guys this confident ever, and it’s really starting to show through. It’s great.”
Ty Caron led the Rifle charge, carding a 1-over-par 73 to place second as an individual. Right behind him were Teig Hauer, Triston Quigley and Danny Bartels. All shot 74s.
The Bears’ 221 team score placed them two strokes ahead of Aspen in the team chase.
“It’s fun to come out here with your buddies and watch them all have success and do well,” said Caron, a junior. “It’s always fun beating [Aspen]. They’re our rivals.”
Cody Capwell’s 87 rounded out Rifle’s list of varsity scores. Freshman Wyatt Carter, who played on the junior varsity squad Friday, carded an 81.
Depth is clearly a strength for the Bears.
“I’m lucky to have inherited a program with such great talent,” said Smith, a Michigan native with high school and college golf experience who’s in his second year as coach. “There’s so much raw talent there. It’s just a matter of capturing that talent and letting them master their craft and getting out there and putting it to work on the course.”
And the Bears have put in some major work on the course the past week, playing five tournaments in five days. They played at Bookcliff in Grand Junction on Monday, at Lakota Canyon Ranch on Tuesday and in Montrose both Wednesday and Thursday before wrapping the week at home.
“Five 18-hole rounds is not easy,” Smith said. “Walking and traveling and staying away from home, sleeping in a hotel, and then long hours in the truck on the way there – it’s not easy. But it’s a good tired, a satisfied tired, after a long week of pretty good play. I’m happy with them.
“I had been telling them that once we get that first one, everybody better look out, because we’re going to take it into the rest of the season.”
Going from four over early in the day to one under by day’s end, Aspen’s Jesse Beetham captured individual medalist honors in Rifle with a 71.
“It was a big comeback for me,” he said. “I started rough. I was four over on my eighth hole and I went five under from there. I wasn’t hitting it very well at all, and then I just decided to relax and play.”
Beetham held off the Bears’ Caron by two strokes.
Palisade’s Kyler Smith shot a 74 to finish in a tie for third on a course with which he’s very familiar. Kyler is the grandson of Jack Smith, a Rifle Creek regular and former coach of many a sport at Rifle High School.
Cole Duplesys paced Coal Ridge with an 87 in Rifle. Teammate Patrick Steinbach turned in a 92.
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