Longhorns lost at The Bridges | AspenTimes.com

Longhorns lost at The Bridges

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. After mishitting his tee shot and winding up in the thick rough at his opening hole, Marty Knous pulled off a nifty chip and sank the putt to walk away with a hard-earned par.The great escape was a rarity for Knous and the Longhorns golf team during a trying Wednesday afternoon at The Bridges Golf & Country Club in Montrose.Knous was 6-over par after just five holes. He overcame two double bogeys at his 16th and 17th holes with some consistent play down the stretch to salvage the round and post an 82. I kind of felt like it was 3 in the morning and I had just woke up for the first half of the round, Knous said. I just think the front nine on that course hates me.Teammate Patrick Hall, who surprised everyone with his 78 on Tuesday in Grand Junction, had no such luck on a tougher Jack Nicklaus-designed tract and wound up with 94. Luke Newberry finished with 101 for the Longhorns, who didnt factor in the hunt for the team title.This course is a real test of golf, first-year head coach Steve Knous said. Its visually intimidating on all the tee boxes. When youre looking out there, there are tons of traps everywhere. You wonder, Where the heck do I have to hit this ball?I havent seen all the courses on the schedule, but this strikes me as one of the toughest.Marty Knous agreed. He triple bogeyed two holes there in 2007 en route to a score of 87. The junior, who medaled Tuesday, struggled again to figure out The Bridges.After an inauspicious start, Knous held it together and posted his first red number at the par-5 15th. He missed his eagle putt from 20 feet after reaching the green in two, but converted the easy tap in for birdie.He parred 16 and 17 before rolling a 30-foot downhill birdie putt at No. 18 well past the hole, leading to bogey. Still, Knous shot 37 on holes 10 to 18.The front nine was a much different story. At No. 1, Knous mishit his drive It was almost a top, he said and the ball landed in a small pond 30 yards in front of the tee box. He went on to record the first of two straight double bogeys.Knous was errant off the tee on the next hole and landed in a hazard. He managed to find the ball, but his second shot landed in another hazard, forcing him to take a drop. Today, I just wasnt hitting the ball as well as I have been lately, he said.Hall knows the feeling. His round included a 10 on a par-3.The whole front and right side was kind of like a swamp or marshy area and the poor guy kept plunking them in there, Steve Knous said. It was one of the early holes he played. I told him, Dont let it ruin your round. You can still break 90. He came close.The coach expects his golfers to rebound today at a far tamer Black Canyon Golf Club in Montrose. Were kind of enjoying ourselves and not getting too bummed out about a rough day, Steve Knous said. Tomorrow will be better.Marty Knous has reason for confidence: He and brother Jim tied for the tournaments top score at Black Canyon last season.jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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