Basalt wins at Grand Valley |

Basalt wins at Grand Valley

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

BATTLEMENT MESA – Thanks to Basalt’s Jim Knous, a friendly rivalry between Grand Valley’s Colton Cowan and Rifle’s Klayton Costanzo wound up being a battle for second place.That battle for silver ended in a tie, with Cowan and Costanzo both carding 5-over-par 77s at Thursday’s Grand Valley Invitational golf tournament at Battlement Mesa Golf Club. Knous narrowly edged out the two in the high school season opener, firing a 75.”My main goal was just to beat Colton,” Costanzo said while grinning and patting Cowan on the back.

Fired back Cowan: “We’ll have a rematch.”The two have crossed paths on the links quite often at Rifle Creek Golf Course, which is Costanzo’s home high school course and where Cowan’s dad is a member.Cowan somehow recovered from back-to-back double bogeys on the first two holes to finish near the top of the field. He cited his power off the tee for his recovery. It’s also the primary reason he plays so well at Battlement Mesa. “The course is longer and I tend to hit the ball a little farther,” said the Cardinal junior, who juggles golf and football in the fall.

“He’s got a pretty good stick,” Grand Valley coach Jeff Bradley said. “He’s getting bigger and stronger. He’s a pretty solid player.”While Cowan carried over a strong performance on the front nine (35) before struggling a bit on the back half (42), Costanzo was a bit more consistent with a 38 on the front and39 on the back. A busy summer of tournament golf has the Rifle sophomore swinging strong at season’s start.

“I’ve probably played five or six tournaments,” he said. “You have to go out there and grind. There are good things to take from it.”Shawn Cruse shot an 82 and Alex Haynes a 90 to secure Rifle a team score of 249 and a second-place finish behind Basalt (244), which was led by Knous and Connor Rakowski (81).Glenwood Springs finished mid-pack in the 17-team tournament at 10th with a score of 272. Jason Whiting (85) and Michael Braklow (89) paced the Demons. Grand Valley finished three strokes behind at 275.Roaring Fork (315) and Coal Ridge (318) placed 13th and 14th, respectively.

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