Aspen, Basalt golfers crack the top three in Montrose | AspenTimes.com

Aspen, Basalt golfers crack the top three in Montrose

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. – For a third consecutive day, the Basalt golfers struggled. They had company Wednesday at The Bridges in Montrose.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed course, one littered with water and other hazards, proved quite formidable – Longhorns head coach Steve Knous could find only a few scores in the 70s after scanning the leaderboard, he said. Despite producing no sub-80 scores on the day, Aspen and Basalt still managed to crack the top three among 3A schools.

Coulter Young fired an 81, Ryan Smith 83 and Ryan Fahy 95 for the Skiers, who finished second in the team standings, one stroke behind Gunnison. No. 1 Marty Knous wound up with 82, Luke Newberry 91 and Dylan Rakowski 92 for Basalt, which settled for third.

“I wasn’t expecting great things at The Bridges. It’s a pretty tough course,” Steve Knous admitted. “The course, it has a lot of water and a lot of trouble. … One kid from Montrose shot 71, and there really wasn’t much even close to him.

“Nobody was having a great time out there, that’s for sure.”

Young, competing for the second time this season, opened his round with a triple bogey after his drive sailed right and into a water hazard. He managed to regroup to pace the Skiers, who, a day after Jesse Beetham won medalist honors to help clinch the team title, had five new players on course.

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“He fought back real well, which is pretty characteristic of him” Aspen assistant coach Brian Dalla Betta said of Young. “He has this ability to keep his head in it.”

Smith gave away many of his strokes while chipping around the greens, Dalla Betta said. The struggles were understandable, given that the Aspen contingent was playing The Bridges for the first time.

“There’s definitely some blind shots and some undulations out there that, if you haven’t played, definitely is a little bit of a guess,” Dalla Betta said. “It’s a tough course, and most of the guys were saying the greens were really difficult.”

A day after getting off to a 1-under-par start on his first nine holes, Marty Knous, who started on No. 16, was 9-over heading to his back nine. He was 2-over in his final nine holes, but wound up with a score above 80 for the second time in four tournaments this season.

“It’s real frustrating for him,” Steve Knous said. “He just got off to a poor start, and it seemed like he was knocking it in the water here and there.

“I see this course and I remember a couple years ago when my son Jim shot 67 here. I’m thinking now that was a hell of a score. … The difficulties we were having seemed to be uniform. … We’ll try and regroup.”

Basalt will not tee it up again until Aug. 27. The Skiers will take on Montrose’s Black Canyon Golf Club today with the same five players as Wednesday.

“It’s great to see the depth that we have,” Dalla Betta said. “I think we’re going to be a team to watch.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com