Rifle golfers rebound for respectable finish at Rifle Creek
Wednesday at Rifle Creek Golf Course
Class 4A Results
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (225) — *Will Firestone 72, Britt Walton 76, Spencer Petersen 77, Brandon Martin 79, Drew Williamson 91.
PALISADE (260) — Trevor Alberts 85, Joe Lucas 87, Kyle Krabbe 88, Ryan Cox 104, Cole Gillian 109.
RIFLE (264) — Wyatt Carter 80, Jacob Smith 83, Elliot Krebill 101, Kohl Keithly 110.
MOFFAT COUNTY (271) — Mike Bingham 85, Chris Kling 92, Tyler Davis 94, Phillip Chadwick 96.
BATTLE MOUNTAIN (285) — Hunter Fox 92, Ryan Hansen 93, Mykah Huang 100, Charlie Marrow 105, Dawson Fletcher 128.
Class 3A Results
ASPEN (236) — *Will Hazen 73, Trey Robinson 77, Henry Ferguson 86, Davis Henschel 88, Sydney Slossberg 89.
VAIL MOUNTAIN (247) — Ben Barron 81, Oliver Pesso 82, Dylan Hardenbergh 84, Tyler Hancock 85, Sean Weller 91.
VAIL CHRISTIAN (254) — Cooper Gould 74, Tony Clark 86, Crane McGuckin 94, Max Phannenstiel 107.
COAL RIDGE (275) — Riley Tamburello 82, Michael Moser 92, Daylen Tamburello 101, Danny Wenzel 110, Devon Ellis 119.
RANGELY (278) — Marshal Way 81, Nick Burri 89, Robert Dunker 108, James Scoggins 118, Jarrod Fiscus 131.
BASALT (287) — Linc Kleager 86, Roger Gauthier 87, D. Broadhurst 100, T Korn 112, J. Ogren 114.
GRAND VALLEY (324) — Tyler Dove 90, Ben Coleman 106, Josh Carpenter 128.
* — Denotes medalist.
RIFLE — Having short memories were a big part of the golf games of Wyatt Carter and Jacob Smith on Wednesday.
The two top golfers for the Rifle High School boys golf team found themselves in trouble during some stages of their rounds at the Rifle Invitational boys golf tournament. Both, however, were able to recover and card respectable rounds and lead the Bears to a third-place finish among the five Class 4A teams in the tournament.
“I didn’t have any blowup holes, but I got off to a bad start,” Smith, a Rifle freshman, said. “I’m just glad that I was able to put that behind me.”
Smith, who in his first year on Rifle’s golf team was listed as the squad’s No. 1 golfer on Wednesday, shot an 83 on the par-72 course to go with the team-best 80 that was shot by Carter, a junior and the little brother Rifle graduate and three-time state qualifier Alyx Carter.
Their scores helped Rifle manage a team score of 264, which was four strokes behind second-place Palisade in the team standings. Steamboat Springs won the 4A team title convincingly with a score of 225, with medalist Will Firestone (72) and teammates Britt Walton (76), Spencer Peterson (77) and Brandon Martin (79) claiming the first four spots in the individual standings.
Carter wound up with fifth place individually in 4A, though it didn’t seem like that would happen during the last part of his round. Playing on Rifle Creek’s hilly and rocky back nine, Carter finished with a 9 on the par-4 14th hole. It included shots that found all sorts of obstacles, including a shed behind the green and another hazard that came after the shed.
Then, he followed that hole with a pair of bogies on hole Nos. 15 and 16. Yet, after finishing seven strokes over par over a span of three holes, Carter still rebounded to birdie the 17th and 18th holes.
“That one hole was just tough,” Carter said. “If it wasn’t for that hole, I probably could have wound up with a 74.”
Carter said his all-time best score on any golf course is a 76.
Smith, in his mind, ended up getting his bad holes out of the way at the beginning of his round.
He carded three double-bogies on his first five holes, yet he stayed consistent enough to finish right behind his teammate, carter, in the individual standings.
“I had a 43 on the front nine, but I didn’t let it bother me,” Smith said.
In the 3A tournament, Aspen claimed the two top honors. The Skiers won the team title with a score of 236, with Will Hazen’s 73 proving good enough for the individual title.
Aspen’s team score was 11 strokes better than second-place Vail Mountain (247), with Vail christian (254) finishing third.
Coal Ridge netted a fourth-place finish in the team standings at 275, with Riley Tamburello’s 82 setting the pace for the Titans. Setting the pace for Grand Valley was sophomore Tyler Dove, whose score of 90 was the best among the three Cardinals’ golfers at Rifle Creek.
“Last year our goal was to break [a team score of] 300, and this year, we shot 286 in our opener,” said Grand Valley coach Drew Thompson of the Cardinals’ season opener Aug. 7 at Battlement Mesa Golf Course. “Now our goal is to keep getting better off of that.”
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.