Rifle’s Owens tees up for state tourney | PostIndependent.com

Rifle’s Owens tees up for state tourney

Phil Sandoval

Playing in the Class 4A state boys golf tournament is familiar for Rifle’s Jim Owens.

It’s the second time in two seasons Owens, a senior, has reached the two-day state tournament which began Monday at Alamosa’s Cattails Golf Club.

Still this time around will be different for Owens.

Instead of making the trip with his Rifle teammates, the Bear golfer will have to go against the best in 4A alone.

Rifle’s sixth-place finish at the 4A regionals in Montrose two weeks ago fell below the cut for the Bears to go to state as a team.

Team champion Steamboat Springs and runner-up Montrose were the only two squads to advance to the state tournament from the 18-team regionals.

Owens was one of six individual Western Slope golfers to make the cut from regionals.

At Montrose, Owens carded a 77, tying him with Mike Jiganti of Gunnison and Palisade’s Keith Weisgerber.

All three, along with Shea Sena and Michael Stroud from Montezuma-Cortez and Keith Denton of Battle Mountain, are in the hunt for an individual medal at the 36-hole tournament.

Sena won the 2002 individual tournament when he defeated Tom Glissmeyer of Colorado Springs Cheyenne Mountain of the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Both golfers return this year. Along with plenty of other strong contenders.

According to statistics from the Rocky Mountain News, eight players in the field of 85 shot a 73 or better at regionals.

For the first day of play, Owens is paired with Weisgerber and Talen Naylor of Falcon from the Colorado Springs Metropolitan League. They will start at hole No. 10.

Tee times for the second day of the tournament are based on an individual’s first-round score.

The 10 best individual scores after Tuesday’s second-round receive medals, independent of the team competition.

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