Young guns battle at Soda Pop Open in Glenwood Springs |

Young guns battle at Soda Pop Open in Glenwood Springs

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Michael Braklow knows where he lost the strokes that could have put him over the top at Monday’s Soda Pop Open youth golf tournament ” on the green.

“I was just missing 3-foot shots,” said the junior-to-be at Glenwood Springs High School, lamenting his short game.

Still, Braklow’s 8-over-par 78 was good enough to win the boys 16- to 18-year-old age division at the yearly, Glenwood Springs Golf Club-hosted tournament. Taylor Montgomery finished second with an 82 and fellow Demon Kelbey Arnaz finished third, carding an 84.

Braklow won the Soda Pop Open’s overall crown two years ago. He wasn’t entirely satisfied with his Monday round, during which he shot a 37 on his first go-around on the nine-hole course and a 41 on the second turn.

“I had a good first nine, but I wasn’t that good on the back nine,” he said. “I kind of didn’t play as much during the summer as I usually do. I started up about a month ago.”

For a second straight year, it was a golfer in the 13- to 15-year-old age group taking home the day’s best 18-hole score. And it just happened to be the very same golfer who snuck up on everyone last year ” Bobby Moyer.

Moyer, entering his freshman year at Aspen High School, shot a 77 to easily win his age group. Coulter Young was second (87) and Austin Edinger (88) third.

Turns out that, like Braklow, Moyer had issues on the green.

“I hit the ball good,” said Moyer, who’ll begin his high school tryouts today. “I just couldn’t putt.”

Moyer emerged from a numbers-heavy age division to take the title. More than 20 golfers of some 68 overall Soda Pop Open golfers were signed up in the boys 13- to -15-year-old division.

Also winning their age divisions on Monday were Peter Steckler, whose nine-hole score of 48 netted him top honors in the boys 10- to 12-year-old grouping, and Cooper Cornelius, who won the boys 9-and-under competition with a three-hole score of 14. Steckler edged Peter Shearer (53) and Cornelius beat out Jacob Smith (21).

Michelle Stripp captured the girls 16-to 18-year-old title with a 93, three strokes ahead of Glenwood Springs High School girls golf teammate Natasha Derby.

Taking the girls 13-15 crown was Taylor Walters, who shot a nine-hole score of 56. Kate Shuman took second in the two-golfer field.

Walters’ little sister, Elly, won the 9-and-under group with a 26, edging Masi Smith in a playoff. Alison Shuman was right behind the two of them with a 28.

Alyx Carter prevailed in the girls 10-12 division with a nine-hole round of 70. Leah Swander finished second (21).

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