Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

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July 15, 2011
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Aspen High sophomore goes low at Ironbridge

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Clayton Crawford's golf game was understandably rusty following a two-plus week basketball and cultural trip to Europe in June.Since returning home, the Aspen sophomore has devoted the bulk of his time to practicing in an effort to regain his form on the links. If Wednesday's effort at Ironbridge Golf Club in Glenwood Springs is any indication, Crawford will be ready when the high school season kicks off in just a few weeks.He carded a 5-under par round of 67 in the Tour in the Rockies event, good for a 10-shot victory."I'm getting better," Crawford said Thursday afternoon. "Actually, on the range before the round I wasn't hitting the ball well. I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out, but it seemed to work out."And quickly.He sank a 10-foot putt at the short, par-4 first. After consecutive pars, he reached the green at the par-5 fourth in two after a well-struck 5-iron and drained a 15-foot eagle putt. He bogeyed the par-3 sixth after his tee shot flew short and left of the green, but Crawford rebounded at seven with a well-placed 5-iron off the tee, a pitching wedge to the green and an accurate birdie putt from just outside 10 feet.He made the turn at 3 under."I was putting well and driving well," Crawford remarked.That consistency continued on the back nine. He bogeyed the 10th after a poor chip from behind the green, but sank a downhill 20-footer for birdie at the Par-3 11th. He reached the fringe of the green in two at the long par-5 13th and two-putted to reach 4 under. After a par at 14, he hit the shot of the day at the par-3 15th; his tee shot came to rest mere inches from the cup."I thought it had spun off a ridge to the left, but it ended up being good," Crawford said. "It had to have been 2 inches from going in the hole."He parred the final three holes to finish with 67 - the lowest round ever recorded in a Tour in the Rockies event, according to Aspen Junior Golf Executive Director Alden Richards."I'm feeling good [about my game]. I've put in a lot of practice the last couple weeks," Crawford said. "If I keep doing that, hopefully I'll keep playing this well."jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 15, 2011 06:37AM Published Jul 15, 2011 12:44AM Copyright 2011 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.