Demon cards tourney’s lowest score
RIFLE – Sinking two eagles and playing strong on the front nine, Glenwood senior Cody Nelson hit his way to an individual championship in the Rifle Invitational Monday at Rifle Creek Golf Course.Nelson stroked a 76 for the victory, recording eagles on the No. 2 and No. 17 holes.”It feels pretty good – first win of the season,” Nelson said. “I started off really well on the front. I was one under through 12 or 13 and then I kinda went bad on the back.”
On the front nine, Nelson shot a 35. Then on the back nine – the more difficult, hilly and rocky section of the course – Nelson struggled a bit, as did the other 77 golfers competing in the tournament.”The back usually gets people. I just wanted to go really low on the front and try and keep it even on the back,” Nelson said. “I kinda had a few bad holes on the back, but I did all right on the front.”After teeing off at 9 a.m., the increasing temperatures, combined with the challenging back nine, made it hard for golfers to keep their scores low. “It was a really hot day,” Nelson said. “The heat kinda of got to me at the end.”
After recording numerous top-10 performances this year, Nelson’s achievement made Glenwood assistant coach Dennis Brown proud.”Cody’s scores have really improved and are becoming more consistently low,” Brown said. “And he is playing all the different venues, so that’s good for him. It show’s that he is really maturing his golf swing and he’s really coming around.”Rifle, who entered four teams into the tournament, had its Yellow team finish second on its home course out of a field of 15. Rifle Yellow shot a 240, three strokes behind tournament winner Eagle Valley. Rifle Blue, Rifle’s second varsity squad, shot a 254. Rifle head coach Duke Earl split his top players onto the Yellow and Blue teams for the tournament. Had the top three Bears been in one group, Rifle would have won the tournament with a 78 from Mike Sours and 79s from Shawn Cruse and Klayton Costanzo. Regardless, the coach was happy with the outcome.
“I don’t feel too bad about it. They didn’t play too well, but a lot of times they don’t at home. They have big expectations,” said Earl, who got to play 20 Rifle golfers in the tournament. “I got a lot of experience out of it for the players so it should be good for them.”Glenwood came in one stroke behind Rifle for a third-place finish. Tory Garling carded a 79, and Jason Whiting hit an 86 to help the Demons. “I am so proud of them. They didn’t give up, and that’s important,” Brown said. “They are getting really more consistent.”Grand Valley took 10th place with a score of 282 as Cardinals Colton Cowan and Sam McKinley shot an 85 and 87, respectively. Hitting a team score of 289, Coal Ridge finished 11th and was led by Andy Smedra and Nick Lapka, who both shot 96s. Hayden Winkler shot an 88 and Daron Parker hit a 93 to guide Roaring Fork to a 12th-place finish with a 294.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.