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Bears defend home turf, win invite title

Sports Editor

RIFLE – The Rifle Bears golf team proved just how well it knows Rifle Creek Golf Course Tuesday, posting a season-low 220 team score for top honors at the 24-team Rifle High School Bears’ Invitational.

“That’s what they should do on their home course,” said Rifle head coach Steve LeDonne, who is also the head pro at the course.

And it came at a good time for the two-time defending regional tournament champions, as the 4A Western Slope Regional is slated to begin Wednesday at Haymaker golf course in Steamboat Springs.

“These guys have the confidence going into regionals,” LeDonne said. “They know they can play, it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Jarred Brown and Jeb Savage led the Bears attack, both carding 73s on the par-72 track. Jim Owens rounded out Rifle’s score with a 74.

“We were kind of hoping to come in and win,” Brown said. “We’ll roll into regionals with a good win here and hopefully we’re going to win regionals. We should win regionals.”

Jeff Franks of Steamboat Springs won the individual title with a round of 71, followed by Grand Junction’s Eric Winder at 72. Chris Lundberg of Montrose joined Brown and Savage in a tie for third place with 73.

“The last four rounds have been pretty good,” said Franks, who has two tournament wins and two seconds on the season, while also playing for the Steamboat football team. “Since I’ve been playing football I haven’t been able to practice much.”

Rifle’s team score was seven strokes better than second-place finishers Grand Junction and Durango, who tied at with 227. Cedaredge was fourth with 228.

Glenwood Springs, which is playing a number of tournaments this week, had a mixture of veterans and younger players on the course and posted a team score of 247, good for 12th place overall.

Andy Buchholz paced the Demons with his low score of the season at 75, putting him in a tie for eighth overall and sixth among 4A players. Glenwood’s Sean Flohr finished at 81.

“We’ve been right on the edge between 78 and 82,” Glenwood coach Norm Bolitho said. “My top guys are all capable, we just have to put it together.

“Regionals is a different story, you never know how the players are going to react,” he added. “Sometimes kids step up and shoot the lights out, and we have the kids who can do that.”

Roaring Fork finished a stroke behind Glenwood with a 248 team score. Chris Webster and Bryan Maggert held the low rounds 80 and 81, respectively.

Grand Valley was 18th with a team score of 271.

Here are the top finishers and local results from Tuesday’s Rifle High School Bears’ Invitational:

Team

1, Rifle, 220. 2 (tie), Grand Junction and Durango, 227. 4, Cedaredge, 228. 5, Montrose, 230. 6 (tie), Steamboat Springs and Fruita-Monument 234. 8, Cortez, 236. 9 (tie), Vernal and Rifle J.V. Gold, 244. 11 (tie), Moffat County and Glenwood Springs, 247. 13, Roaring Fork, 248. 14 (tie), Battle Mountain, Aspen J.V., 251. 16, Moffat County J.V., 252. 17, Grand Junction Central 269. 18, Grand Valley, 271. 19, Eagle Valley, 272. 20, Rifle J.V. Blue, 284. 21, Rangely, 285. 22, Meeker, 289. 23, Lake County, 297. 24, Basalt, 334.

Individual

Top 10 – 1, Jeff Franks, Steamboat Springs, 71. 2, Eric Winder, Grand Junction, 72. 3 (tie), Jarred Brown, Rifle; Chris Lundberg, Montrose; Jeb Savage, Rifle, 73. 6 (tie), Jim Owens, Rifle; Shea Sena, Cortez, 74. 8 (tie), Andy Buchholz, Glenwood; Andrew Crowell, Durango;, Tyler Nathe, Fruita; Nate Greene, Vernal; Blake Sherman, Durango, 75.

Other local scores

Rifle (220) – Cole Manuppella, 76. Shane Fazzi, 87.

Rifle J.V. Gold (244) – Kip Jessup, 79. Doug Kircher, 81. Doug Skinner, 84. Jason Brown, 93. Chris Jones, 98.

Glenwood Springs (247) – Sean Flohr, 81. Connor Frey, 91. Jacob Carr, 97.

Roaring Fork (248) – Chris Webster, 80. Bryant Maggert, 81. Sean McMechen, 87. Adam Frank, 104.

Grand Valley (271) – Zach Hayes, 82. Colin Lauman, 90. Justin Conklin, 99. Jason Conklin, 99. James Hylton, 130. Zach Levine, 131.

Rifle J.V. Blue (284) – Tim McWilliams, 87. Brandon Leuallen, 96. Steven Anderson, 101, Eddie Kreimier, 123.

Basalt (334) – Sean Kulzer, 98. Matt Hobbs, 111. Sterling Black, 125. Robert Parker, DNF.


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