And for openers … |

And for openers …

G. Sean KellyPost Independent Sports Editor
Post Independent/Kara K. PearsonRoaring Fork High Schools A.J. Joiner, starting his senior year, lines up his putt on the eighth hole during Thursdays Grand Valley Invitational at Battlement Mesa Golf Club. Joiner took first place with a 71. Many of the same schools that played Thursday will next play at the Tiger Invitational on Monday.

A. J. Joiner had little trouble making the transition from his summer tournament schedule to the high school boys golf season.The Roaring Fork senior posted a round of 71, good for top individual honors at the season-opening Grand Valley Invitational held at the par-72 Battlement Mesa Golf Club on Thursday.”The summer stuff really prepared me for the high school season,” Joiner said. “There’s some really important summer (tournaments), but the high school season is really the most important.”

Part of what makes the high school season so meaningful for Joiner is playing for a team.”It was great seeing all the guys in the same shirts,” Joiner said. “Even though golf is a very individual sport, you could tell there were teams out there.”In a tight race for the team title in the 18-squad tournament, Montrose took the crown with a 240, followed by Fruita at 241 and Central at 242. Roaring Fork took ninth.

Joiner hung around par all day, with just one bogey, to nip Steamboat Springs golfer Paul Berry by one stroke. Central freshman Calan Hoppe finished in third place at 75.”It was a nice, tough golf course and it’s kind of motivating to throw a good number at it,” Joiner said. “It could have been better, but I’m very happy with what I shot today.”Basalt and Rifle tied for seventh place in the team standings. Rifle’s Shawn Cruse carded an 81 to tie for 11th place and Mike Sours finished with an 84. Basalt’s Jim Knous and Connor Rakowski both placed in the top 20 at 82 and 84, respectively.

Michael Flohr and Matt McAdow paced Glenwood to an 11th-place finish with an 85 and 86, respectively.Tournament host Grand Valley was one stroke behind Glenwood and had solid showings from Tyler Jensen and Sam McKinley, who both carded 86s. In the first high school tournament action for Coal Ridge High School, Zack Lyon carded the lowest round of the day with a 95.Many of the same schools will next play at the Tiger Invitational on Monday at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction.

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