Basalt golfers best field in Delta | AspenTimes.com

Basalt golfers best field in Delta

Jon Maletz

The members of Basalt’s golf team have delivered a familiar message of late during their habitual post-tournament calls home. We won again.Wednesday, on a Devil’s Thumb Golf Club course that will host regional play in September, the Longhorns took home top team honors for the sixth time in eight tournaments this year. Junior Jim Knous, in what is becoming the norm, was the top medalist for the second straight tournament and fourth overall.Basalt’s cumulative score of 236 was one stroke better than Steamboat Springs. Glenwood Springs and Aspen finished third and fourth, respectively.”We just have to make sure we don’t get big-headed and start thinking we’re going to automatically win,” Longhorns head coach Pat Riley said. “I don’t think the kids are that way. They go out there to do their best. It just so happens that we’ve been the best.”Knous struggled on a course where 71 of 76 competitors posted a score of 80 or above. One Longhorns player determined that a modest score of 87 would’ve been the state qualifying mark. It remains to be seen how players will fare next month. Knous’ 2-over-par round of 74 included two double bogeys and a rare four-putt on No 1. “I would never have thought that 74 would’ve held up,” Knous said. “I didn’t even feel like I was playing that well. I was smacking it around out there.”Knous, starting at No. 10, opened with a par, then a birdie on the short 392-yard par-4 11th. After a string of pars, he ran into trouble on the par-4 16th. Knous’ approach sailed wide of the green and landed in a bush. He tried to chip out, but was unsuccessful in advancing the ball. He failed to get up-and-down, and walked off the green after posting double bogey.Knous was back at even par following a birdie at the par-15 18th, but his putting went awry at No. 1. He was on the front of the green in two – he four-putted from 50 feet. He knocked his first attempt 5 feet past the hole. On a difficult downhill second, the ball lipped out, gained speed, and rolled 8 feet before coming to rest. He missed again.”I was so mad at myself I couldn’t even think,” Knous said. “I couldn’t get a feel for the greens. There were a lot of breaks that I wasn’t seeing at all.”By no means did he struggle alone. With three holes to play, Steamboat Springs’ Paul Berry led Knous by one shot. Berry finished with par, double bogey, then a bogey while Knous played Nos. 7, 8 and 9 at even par.”Most of the course is straightforward, but if you miss [the fairways], there’s dirt and grunge and rocks. It’s not a real great place to be,” Knous said. “you have to hit the fairway if you want any chance.”Junior Connor Rakowski shot 79 and senior Nick Johnson 87 for the Longhorns, who next play Wednesday at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs.Junior Trent Manchester posted a 4-over 78 and Senior Matt Butler 82 for the Skiers.Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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