Costanzo’s 76 tops the board at Rifle Creek |

Costanzo’s 76 tops the board at Rifle Creek

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs Colorado, CO
Kelley Cox Post Independent

RIFLE ” Klayton Costanzo pulled up a chair and camped out a few feet in front of the score sheets outside the Rifle Creek Golf Course pro shop.

The Rifle High School junior waited calmly as the scores went up, knowing all the while his 76 would likely hold as the day’s top mark. He shook hands with opposing coaches and exchanged quips with teammates and opposing players.

Still, Costanzo appeared relieved when all the scores were in and his 4-over-par round officially stood as the day’s best at Tuesday’s Rifle High School boys golf invitational.

“I didn’t have to worry too long,” he said. “The nerves didn’t last too long.”

That’s because Costanzo identified his challengers early on and charted their day’s efforts.

There was Cortez’s Brian Grubbs, whom he golfed alongside all day. He knew Grubbs had a 78 locked up.

He also knew that Grubbs’ teammate, Dominique Johnson, had a 77 in the bag. Johnson played in the group behind Costanzo and Grubbs.

Two down.

He found out later another Cortez golfer, Jacob Curtis, shot a dangerously close 77.

“I figured if I stayed right with Grubbs, I’d be OK,” Costanzo said. “He’s a heck of a player. He and Dominique.”

It’s safe to classify Curtis as a heck of a player as well.

“I didn’t realize,” Rifle’s top golfer said.

Costanzo relished the win on his home links, something that trips up many a golfer.

“I’m glad,” he said. “You see a lot of people struggle at their home tournament. It’s nice to come out and show that home-court advantage. I think people sometimes expect too much [on their home course]. They expect to play well because they play there all the time, but it’s just like any other tournament. You’ve got to come out and put up a good number.”

While Costanzo captured the individual title, Cortez took home the team title at Rifle Creek. The three sub-80 scores turned in Johnson, Curtis and Grubbs amounted to a 232, 22 strokes in front of second-place Rifle. Glenwood Springs was third at 271.

Glenwood Springs, Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork and Grand Valley were all in attendance at the gathering of 12 varsity squads.

Craig Spaulding posted Coal Ridge’s top round, an 85 that netted him sixth place overall. Michael Braklow of Glenwood shot an 86 that placed him in a seventh-place tie with four players, a group that included Rifle’s Alex Haynes.

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