Longhorns left scrambling in Montrose | AspenTimes.com

Longhorns left scrambling in Montrose

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. After Thursdays taxing round, Marty Knous must be looking forward to some time off.Basalts No. 1 scrambled to save par on nearly every hole at Black Canyon Golf Course in Montrose. The junior, who hit just six greens in regulation, got up-and-down nine times en route to a 4-over-par 74 and a tie for fifth.He wasnt playing especially well, first-year Longhorns coach Steve Knous said. Thats probably a good sign. On a day when he wasnt on his game, he was still hanging in there.”The same could not be said for Patrick Hall who, two days after firing a 78, took a step backward after finishing with 104. Luke Newberry (96) broke 100 for the first time this season for the Longhorns, who finished well out of contention in their fourth tournament in as many days.I was noticing as the day wore on that the wheels were starting to come off, Steve Knous said of Hall. By the last hole, you could tell he didnt want to be out there.To really be a tough golfer, you have to be dialed in for all 18 holes. Anybody who plays golf knows thats nearly impossible to do. With teenage boys, thats more impossible than with other groups.Marty Knous routinely flirted with disaster, but he managed to hold things together. He reached the green at the driveable 317-yard par-4 third in one and came away with birdie, but dropped back to even after a three putt at the fourth.He hooked his tee shot at the fifth and his ball struck a tree and dropped into a small lake; he walked away with a bogey. Knous also dropped a shot at the eighth after an errant chip over a bunker to a difficult hole location.He was 2-over on the front nine.I was feeling pretty good at that point, said Knous, who tied brother Jim for the tournaments top score with 73 last August at Black Canyon. I knew I had to hit some greens on the back, maybe get down to even to have a chance.After two up-and-downs to save par at Nos. 10 and 11, Knous knocked his chip from 20 yards shy of the green at the par-4 12th a few feet from the pin and knocked in the birdie putt. He gave that shot back after his shot from a green-side bunker at 14 sailed over the putting surface.The trouble continued at the par-3 15th after his tee shot landed in a bunker. The ensuing sand shot sailed over the green once more, then Knous chipped onto the green and two putted to drop to 4-over.He made up no ground on the final three holes. He missed an opportunity for birdie at the par-5 16th after he failed to knock his third shot from 20 yards out close. His approach shots at 17 and 18 sailed wide, forcing him to scramble for pars.Knous wound up six shots off the pace of the medalist from Montezuma-Cortez.I wasnt hitting the ball as great as I wanted to, he said. My score couldve been much better.Steve Knous said he expected his entire team to fare better Thursday. I really thought the kids would do well today. This is probably the easiest course theyll play all year, Steve Knous said. Im a little surprised with the way it went. I guess I shouldnt be. In golf, anything can happen.The Longhorns next play Aug. 27 when they travel to Devils Thumb Golf Club in Delta.jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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