Knous fires 29 on front at Colorado Open | AspenTimes.com

Knous fires 29 on front at Colorado Open

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jim Knous had a front nine to remember and a final hole he would rather forget Thursday.

The Basalt professional opened with a birdie and two pars in the first round of the Colorado Open at Denver’s Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, then put on quite a show. He birdied six consecutive holes and made the turn at 7-under.

Knous could not keep the momentum going, however, recording a bogey at the 12th and a double bogey at the par-5 18th. He settled for a 66 and a share of second place heading into today’s second round.

“I never shot 29 before on nine holes – that was pretty awesome,” the recent Colorado School of Mines graduate said. “It was too bad I had to finish with a double. I was so frustrated after that happened.”

Knous’ second shot at the 639-yard, par-5 last came to rest on the downslope of a greenside bunker. He sailed his third over the putting surface, then left his fourth and fifth short of the green.

He admittedly was seething after two-putting from the fringe.

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“It took a lot of calming down after that. My coach was trying to calm me down. My girlfriend was trying to calm me down,” Knous said. “That’s how golf is sometimes. It’s frustrating and you’re going to have bad holes.”

There were plenty of good holes, too, on a warm afternoon on the Front Range.

Knous missed a 15-footer for birdie at No. 1, but reached the green in two at the par-5 second and two-putted to move to

1-under. The “birdie barrage” began in earnest after another par at No. 3.

He got up and down from a greenside bunker at the drivable par-4 fourth, drained long birdie putts at No. 5 and 6 and tapped in from about four feet at No. 7.

The putts continued to fall on No. 8 and 9.

“I went for the green at 9 again in two and probably had the farthest putt you can have on that hole, about 80 feet,” Knous said. “I blew my first one well past the hole – I had a good 15 feet coming back. I just happened to make it. … I didn’t even know that putt was for a 29. If I did, it probably would’ve made me a little more nervous.

“When you’re going that low you get nervous, but I think that’s a natural thing. I tried not to let it get to me, and I think I did a pretty good job. I was hitting good shots on the back nine, but I just wasn’t making the putts.”

Knous dropped a shot at the par-4 12th, then ran into trouble at the last.

Despite the late hiccup, Knous, who finished 44th in the Colorado Open last year, is well positioned to make a run this weekend.

“I played well the whole day. I can’t let one bad hole ruin a good day,” Knous said. “It feels really good to start things off like this. Now I’ve got a base that I can build on. … I’m just looking for a good second day to put myself in contention. That’s all you can ask for.

“I’m glad I’m starting on the back nine tomorrow so I can get to 18 and redeem myself.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com