Basalt golfer wins eighth tourney | AspenTimes.com

Basalt golfer wins eighth tourney

Jon Maletz

Nothing can shake Basalt golfer Jim Knous’ confidence these days.With a win hanging in the balance Wednesday at Steamboat Springs’ Haymaker Golf course, the senior eyed a imposing third shot from a sand trap on the par-5 18th. One shot earlier, he shanked his 4-iron from 220 yards out. Now, with Sean Cruse of Rifle all but assured of a birdie, Knous faced a daunting challenge: complete an up-and-down to maintain a one-stroke advantage.”I didn’t feel too much pressure,” Knous said. “I knew I had to get birdie.”That’s just what he did. Knous’ shot from the sand, 90 yards from the putting surface, hit the green, rolled into the short rough, then spun back, coming to rest 6 feet from the hole. He calmly sank the putt to clinch his eighth victory in nine tournaments.Cruse settled for second, and a third-place finish from Anthony DePalma (74) helped Fruita Monument win the team title. Battle Mountain (236) and Steamboat (237) finished second and third, respectively. Knous hit all nine greens in regulation on the front nine and made the turn at 2-under after birdies at 5 and 9. He was on the green at the par-4 10th in two, but lost a stroke after three-putting from 30 feet.His troubles came on the tee, not on the putting surface, at 11. Knous’ drive sailed right and landed in the water hazard; Knous got up-and-down from 60 feet to salvage par. He was not as fortunate on 14, where an errant tee shot produced a bogey. He three-putted the par-3 215-yard 17th from 85 feet to move to 1-over. But his heroics at 18 helped Knous seal another win.Marty Knous shot 81, and John Komula finished with a 103 for the Longhorns, who were missing No. 2 Connor Rakowski for a second consecutive tournament. Rakowski, who tore a ligament in his left thumb during a practice round Aug. 27, could return today at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig.”I was out there playing my best, and I know Connor will be back soon,” Jim Knous said. “I just want to make sure he’s there for regionals.””Without Connor, we don’t have much of a chance,” Basalt coach Pat Riley added. Basalt finished ninth out of 13. “I woke up at 3:30 this morning worrying about regionals and how we’ll do. I hope we’ll be at our best.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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