Looking to make the cut
Snow is starting to fall at the higher elevations, and that can mean just one thing – the golf season is coming to a close.For a number of prep golfers, the season could end today.Battlement Mesa Golf Club offers the last chance to qualify for the state tournament when it plays host to the boys Class 4A Western Regional golf tournament today at 8 a.m.
All five area teams – Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Roaring Fork, Basalt and Grand Valley – will be represented at the 19-team, 76-player tournament. The top two teams qualify for state and six to eight individuals not on the qualifying teams will also advance.Steamboat Springs enters as the team favorite, with three players ranked in the top 50 of Class 4A, according to the Colorado State High School Activities Association Web site. Montrose should push the Sailors and claim a qualifying spots. “We pretty much know which two teams are real good, and our team, with the round of our lives, could qualify,” said A.J. Joiner, Roaring Fork’s No. 1 player. “There’s actually four Steamboat kids who are really good. They can all shoot right around par.”Hans-Peter Bacher paces the Sailors with a Class 4A ranking of 13th and an average differential of 3.3, the best in the tournament field. Ryan Brees is 17th at 3.9. Kenton Gamache is also among the top 50 4A golfers in the state, and Paul Berry is also solid.
Joiner leads the pack of local golfers hoping to make the state tournament cut individually and, after Wednesday’s practice round, feels confident on the 6,799-yard, par-72 Battlement Mesa track despite the recent wet weather.”Battlement Mesa is a long course and kind of fits my game,” said Joiner, who finished the season ranked third in league scoring average and tied for first in a tournament at Battlement Mesa earlier this season. “I like to hit the driver a lot, so it helps.”Individually I’m just trying to qualify,” he added. “I’m not really worried what I shoot to qualify, just as long as I qualify.”Along with Joiner, Roaring Fork has another potential qualifier in Sean McMechen. McMechen finished the season ranked 49th in Class 4A.
Matt McAdow has had the best overall season for Glenwood Springs according to the CHSAA rankings. But Michael Flohr has come on late in the season, including a win at the Demon Invite.”(Flohr) has been playing really well the last month or so,” Glenwood coach Bryan Whiting said. “If Michael plays like he has been he could easily place in that next six” and qualify for state.Sean Flohr, Michael’s brother, may also make a run at a state berth.Brandon Forney is the top contender for Rifle. Qualifiers advance to the two-day Class 4A State Tournament, Oct. 4-5 at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Qualifiers advance to the two-day Class 4A State Tournament, Oct. 4-5 at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
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