Basalt golfer golden in Grand Junction | AspenTimes.com

Basalt golfer golden in Grand Junction

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Basalt coach Steve Knous modest goal for Patrick Hall on Tuesday? Play bogey golf.When the first-year coach first heard that Hall posted a 78 at Grand Junctions Tiara Rado Golf Course 23 strokes better than one day earlier at Bookcliff Country Club he was taken aback.The kid looked like a different person out there, Knous said. Hes beaming, although I think hes asleep in the back of the bus right now.All the Longhorns were resting easy Tuesday afternoon. After two tournaments replete with lackluster performances, the two-time defending regional champions were back in contention. One Basalt golfer even topped the leaderboard.Junior Marty Knous fired a 1-over par 72 eight strokes better than Mondays effort to pick up his first high school medal. He, Hall and Luke Newberry (102) led the Longhorns to a seventh-place finish.Montezuma-Cortez and Steamboat Springs tied for first with matching team scores of 231 and Battle Mountain (238), Grand Junction Central (239) and Durango (245) rounded out the top five.These guys just looked better today, Steve Knous said. They looked like they were feeling better and they had their heads up. There was a lot more smiling going on.With good reason. Marty Knous first tasted success last season at Montroses Black Canyon Golf Club when, as the teams No. 3, he tied his brother Jim for first with a 73 but later lost on the opening playoff hole. While he had no idea where he stood down the stretch Tuesday, Marty said he was certain he needed a strong finish to stay in contention.The junior was reeling after three consecutive bogeys at Nos. 10, 11 and 12 his 13th, 14th and 15th holes of the round that dropped him to 3-over.When I got to No. 10, [I said to myself], Ive got a good round going, lets try to keep it together, he said. It was making me nervous. I wasnt as relaxed as I was early in the round.I knew I just had to stay focused all day. If I focus hard enough, I can pull together some birdies when I need them.Knous did exactly that. He lined up a tee shot at the 135-yard par-3 13th and stuck his sand wedge to three feet. He tapped in for birdie. After a strong drive at the 520-yard par-5 14th, Knous pulled out a 4-iron and went for the green in two. His shot came to rest 15 feet from the pin. The ensuing eagle attempt lipped out, but Knous closed his round with birdie.Steve Knous was following the action.That really capped a good day, he said. I knew he was ready to go low, just for whatever reason he was having a couple bad holes. Today, he was solid throughout.One day after bogeying two of his first three holes, Knous drained a 10-footer for birdie at No. 15 his first hole then strung together three consecutive pars. After a one-shot hiccup at No. 1, Knous birdied the short par-5 second, then sank a 25-footer for birdie at the par-3 third. He hit all nine greens in regulation on the front nine.I honestly thought Marty would shoot a low score today, Steve Knous said. When you watch the level of play out there, there are some very good kids. Hes every bit as good as any kid out there. Its just a matter of feeling comfortable out there.Knous wasnt the only Longhorns golfer who felt comfortable at Tiara Rado, which borders the Colorado National Monuments red cliffs. Basalt finished nine spots higher than Monday, thanks in large part to the efforts of Hall.The juniors performance had Steve Knous gushing long after the team left the course.I was checking in throughout the day and he said he was doing pretty good and getting a lot of pars. I thought What the heck. Maybe well do good today, the coach said. Our goal for him was to at least play bogey golf. He blew the doors off that.Were getting there and taking baby steps. Today was one big step, one gigantic step. What he did today was absolutely stunning. In other action Tuesday, Bobby Moyer shot 81, Coulter Young 91 and Omri Gildor 93 for Aspen, which finished 10th. Head coach Mary Woulfe did not return calls seeking comment.jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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