Mixed results for Aspen, Basalt golf teams at state | AspenTimes.com

Mixed results for Aspen, Basalt golf teams at state

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

TRINIDAD, Colo. – Aspen’s chances of competing for a state golf title were blown away during Monday’s blustery first round at Cougar Canyon Golf Course in Trinidad.

Tuesday, the Skiers closed out the season on a much more favorable note. Connor Hansen fired a second-round 79 – 20 strokes better than Monday’s effort – to lead Aspen to a sixth-place finish out of 11. Kent Denver took home the team title.

Alexander Dawson’s Peter Hassan fired a personal-best 76 on Monday, then posted 79 a day later to win medalist honors. Hansen’s effort was good enough for 32nd out of 84 golfers – and second among Western Slope competitors; Ridgway’s Nick Purvis (86, 83), the regional champion, tied for 14th.

“Yesterday was a brutal day in terms of weather conditions. You just had to be able to survive,” Skiers head coach Mary Woulfe said. “Those players that did survive were positioned to do quite well [Tuesday]. What the weather did was eliminate a lot of people. … It was an unusual test of golf, let’s put it that way.”

Wind gusts in excess of 30 mph coupled with difficult, fast greens – ones that the course superintendent told Woulfe had not been watered in three days – led to inflated scores Monday.

Woulfe advised her players to worry about keeping pace with their playing partners, not their scores. In the end, the Skiers couldn’t keep up. Hansen and Jesse Beetham, both all-conference selections, carded 99s, while Ryan Smith and Coulter Young each shot 94.

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“We couldn’t survive the day,” Woulfe said. “Boy, it was tough on them. … If you don’t play decent golf, your confidence gets completely shot. But the guys came back.

“Connor as a senior really showed his experience. It was a really good round of golf.”

Beetham, a two-time medalist this season, rebounded with a second-round 82 on Tuesday, when winds abated but tricky greens still tested the mettle of everyone in the field. The freshman, who was on pace to break 80 before some struggles at his final two holes, wound up in a tie for 40th individually.

Young finished one spot higher after finishing with 86 Tuesday. Smith wound up with 91 and a two-day total of 184.

“To finish sixth out of 11 is not all bad,” Woulfe said. “From an individual standpoint, it was a little disappointing, but they did the best with what they were given.”

Basalt’s Marty Knous, who nabbed the 10th and final individual qualification spot at regionals in Steamboat Springs, could not atone for a largely lackluster senior season. He finished with 99 Monday, then 85 Tuesday.

“Three or four holes really got ugly,” Longhorns head coach Steve Knous said of his son’s opening round. “I’d say he played a so-so round of golf [Tuesday]. He hit some pretty nice shots but got into trouble here and there, and the penalty scores kept adding up.

“I think Marty is feeling like he’s had enough golf. He’s going to put his clubs in the garage as far back in the corner as they can get.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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