Basalt golfers seventh after first round | AspenTimes.com

Basalt golfers seventh after first round

Nate Peterson

One bad shot led to another, then another … and then another.If Basalt junior Connor Rakowski hit a better tee shot on the last hole of his round Monday at the 4A state golf championships in Steamboat Springs, he might have only ended up three or four shots over par, instead of six. Basalt’s team might be tied for fifth or sixth, instead of two strokes behind Steamboat Springs, in seventh.Before the par-5 ninth – Rakowski’s 18th hole – things were going so smoothly.Rakowski chipped in for a birdie on the par-4 eighth, and just left a putt for birdie on the par-five seventh a foot shoot. Heading into the ninth, Rakowski was just three over par.Then he hooked his tee shot into the rough, followed by a forgettable second shot that went even farther into the tall grass on the side of the fairway. Rakowski’s third shot landed in a bunker; his fourth never made it out of the sand. He finished with a triple bogey to card a 78 for the round.”He was really moving along before he came to No. 18,” Basalt coach Pat Riley said. “I expected that he would do better than he did, and that we would do better as a team.”Rakowski wasn’t the only Longhorn to have a rough hole spoil a solid round. Junior Jim Knous had a double bogey on the eighth, and finished tied with Rakowski in 19th place also with a 78. Senior Nick Johnson carded an 80 and senior Bryan Mason finished with an 89 to give Basalt a team score of 236, two strokes behind host Steamboat Springs and five back of fifth-place Ralston Valley.Greeley Central’s Nick Umholtz fired a 67 for the best round of the day among the field of 84. Kent Denver’s Gunner Wiebe finished one stroke back and Justin Spray of Cheyenne Mountain and Mark Hubbard of Colorado Academy tied for fourth with rounds of 69.Kent Denver leads Greeley Central by two strokes with a team score of 214 heading into today’s final round.Steamboat Springs’ Paul Berry, whom Knous and Rakowski have battled all season, finished tied for 13th with a round of 75. “My goal for us is to end up ahead of Steamboat Springs in the standings,” Riley said. “I think that Jim and Connor will come in with better scores [today]. Jim had a 72 in a practice round [Sunday] and I know they both can shoot right around par. I think they’ll do that [today], although it might be a day late.”Basalt edged Steamboat Springs twice this season by one stroke.”[Steamboat] has a bit of an advantage because this is their home course, but I think we can still beat them,” Riley said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.com