Rifle golfer starts season strong | PostIndependent.com

Rifle golfer starts season strong

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

BATTLEMENT MESA, Colorado ” Klayton Costanzo didn’t like the way his driver was swinging, so he bagged it.

And that turned out to be a good call.

The Rifle junior opened the high school boys golf season with a bang on Thursday, out-firing the field at the Battlement Mesa Golf Club-hosted Grand Valley Invitational despite retiring his driver after six holes.

Costanzo turned in matching 38s on the front and back nine to win by four strokes over Steamboat Springs’ Alan Capistan, whose 80 landed him a second-place finish.

“My irons and short game were pretty good,” said Costanzo. “My driver failed me.”

The Bear’s 76 was his career-best round at Battlement Mesa. He carded a 77 to finish in a tie for second at last year’s Grand Valley Invitational.

Costanzo, who regularly works on his game with coach Jack Small at Basalt’s Roaring Fork Club, has done his best to keep his game sharp throughout the summer, even with a demanding work schedule.

“I’ve played a couple tournaments,” he said. “Mainly, I’ve just been trying to work on my game after work. I’ve worked a lot on my short game.”

All that practice paid off for Costanzo, who credited his putting with carrying him to victory on Thursday.

“I definitely putted well,” he said. “I only had 31 putts today, so that was good.”

Steamboat Springs prevailed in the team standings, placing three golfers in the top six ” Capistan, Kaelen Gunderson (81, third place) and Ben Vonthaden (83, sixth place) ” to post a score of 244. Summit finished second (250), Eagle Valley third (252) and Rifle fourth (259).

Shooting the top score for host Grand Valley was sophomore Dylan Walters, who shot a 91. Walters spent his freshman year at Rifle High School.

Somewhat disappointed in his round, the new Cardinal mulled playing again later Thursday.

“I had a couple bad shots,” he said, “but I just need to come out and practice. I’ll probably come out again [today].”

Walters’ new coach, Scott Carpenter, was also making a debut ” as Grand Valley’s new coach. And it was smooth sailing for Carpenter, who’s glad to be done running his first tournament.

There was one thing Carpenter wished were different.

“I wish I were out there golfing with ’em,” he said.

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