Basketball coach good at sinking golf balls, too
Roger Walters is known throughout the Western Slope for his basketball coaching abilities, but the Roaring Fork High School hoops coach has a stick, too.Walters carded a 3-under-par 67 to take the lead in the first round of the 36-hole Glenwood Open Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club.Despite the day on the links that has him holding a two-stroke lead, Walters admits he prefers the basketball gym to the golf course. That preference is part of the reason he isn’t an annual participant in the Glenwood Open – it conflicts with basketball.
“Being in a gym is much more enjoyable,” Walters said. “This is fun, but (coaching basketball) is a kind of different fun.” Doug Jones looked like he would hold the lead after the first round for the second year in a row after posting a 69, until Walters came in with the final group of the day. Michael Smith shot a 70 to round out the top three.Walters didn’t get off to a great start Saturday morning, but that all changed on the second nine holes. “I kind of struggled on the front. … On the back I hit eight greens (in regulation) and shot a 31,” Walters said. “It’s a little easier when you hit the fairways.”Last year’s champion, Jerrad Brown, who played for Rifle High School when Walters was the golf and basketball coach there, stayed in the hunt with a 72.
Last year, Brown rose from fifth after the first day to take the tournament title. This year he sits tied for sixth place.”That’s the way I look at it – coming from behind a little,” said Brown, who plans to take a step toward becoming a club pro by taking the Players Abilities Test later this month. “There’s no need to be in the lead and put the pressure on yourself, right?”Brown thought he was out of the tournament after a rough go on the green at No. 4, but rallied nicely down the stretch.”On No. 4 I three-putted from about 4 feet and thought I shot myself out (of the tournament),” Brown said. “But I backed it up with three birdies coming in.”
And, as last year’s tournament showed, things could change dramatically in today’s final round.”It’s always different tomorrow,” Walters said. “You never can tell what’s going to happen.”The championship flight tees off this afternoon at 2:20 p.m. The leaders go off at 3 p.m.• In Friday’s Pro-Am tournament, Ironbridge Golf Club pro Doug Rohrbaugh carded the low pro round with a 65. Tad Holloway, of Rifle Creek, was second at 67 and Jason Franke (Battlement Mesa) and Tom Underwood (Lakota Canyon Ranch) tied for third at 69.Two squads tied for first at 122 in the team competition. The team of Underwood, Bart O’Brien, Mike German, Dennis Yost and Paul Johnson ended even with pro Scott Hansen (Hansen Bros. Golf, Grand Junction), John Lee, Larry Emery, Tim Parker and Steve Lundin. Three teams tied for third at 123.
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