Skiers’ Crawford sweats out playoff at Lakota
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Oliver Pesso said it felt like a PGA event.
Pesso, a Vail Mountain School freshman, and Aspen’s Clayton Crawford, a junior, went head to head in a playoff for medalist honors at Tuesday’s Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club-hosted boys golf tournament.
In the end, Pesso’s 20-foot birdie try on the playoff hole – par-4 No. 10 – narrowly missed its mark. Crawford followed with a tap-in for birdie to capture the individual title at Coal Ridge High School’s annual tourney.
“I felt like I was in the PGA,” Pesso said, “with everybody watching and that intense putt. I wish I made it. When I putted, I thought I made it.”
So did Crawford, who watched nervously as Pesso’s putt nearly dropped into the cup.
“It burned the edge,” Crawford said with a grin. “I thought he had it. … I didn’t want to have to go to another one with him putting like that.”
Both shot 3-over-par 75s in regulation, setting the stage for the afternoon’s playoff theatrics.
The playoff was a learning experience for the young Pesso, who faced a substantial size disadvantage against Crawford.
“You have to keep cool and stay in the game, especially when a guy 6-2 can outpower you and is a junior,” said the 5-foot-1 1/2 Pesso. “He can put it on the green with a wedge. I have like a 5-iron in hand or whatever.”
Crawford and the Skiers wound up winning the team title with a score of 243. Rifle took second (245), Montrose third (248), Vail Mountain fourth (251) and Summit fifth (252).
Danny Bartels shot an 80 and Triston Quigley carded an 81 to help Rifle to second place as a team at Lakota. Both efforts went down as top-five individual finishes as well.
“It was a long day,” Bears coach Jordan Smith said. “The course was playing really wet and the kids had a hard time putting. We just came off Bookcliff [Monday] and the greens were super fast there. It took the kids a long time to adjust to the slower greens today.”
Still, the Bears fared well as part of an eight-team field.
Ty Caron (84), Teig Hauer (86), Wyatt Carter (87) and Cody Capwell (92) also turned in rounds for Rifle, which will host a Friday tournament at Rifle Creek Golf Course. A shotgun start will gets things under way there at 9 a.m.
Tyler Scott’s 89 paced Coal Ridge at its home tourney. Cassidy Lawrence (92), Cole Duplesys (100), Michael Moser (102) and Riley Tamborello (107) rounded out the Titans’ scores.
Coal Ridge coach Jemiah Fowler has seen his program grow by leaps and bounds from last season to this one. He’s up from four golfers to 12.
“We have a decent little core,” he said, noting that Lakota Canyon’s been accommodating in terms of letting players on the course to practice. “Being able to come up here and practice every day is huge.”
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