Aspen golf rolls to another tournament win, this time on their home course
1. Aspen 214
2. Basalt 248
3. Summit 250
1. Jack Pevny, Aspen 70 (-1)
2. Dominic Lanese, Aspen 71 (even)
3. Jack Hughes, Aspen, 73 (+2)
4. Colter Zwieg, Aspen 75 (+4)*
5. Dawson Holmes, Aspen 76 (+5)
5. Holden Kleager, Basalt 76 (+5)
*competed as a JV player
Jack Pevny just had to laugh when the question was asked. After all, golf injuries are few and far between compared to most other sports.
So, why did the Aspen High School junior miss the past two tournaments? Well, because he sandwiched his finger between a couple of golf clubs, grinding it to a point where there was a concern it might be broken.
Nothing to worry about, however. Pevny returned to the course Friday to win the Skiers’ lone home tournament of the season at Aspen Golf Club.
“It’s been tough so far this year with Dom going really low a lot, but it’s been good and I’m pretty excited about it,” Pevny said of his senior teammate, Dominic Lanese. “It’s really cool to see, because I think it is shaping into what the regional team will look like. If we are all winning, I don’t see any reason why we can’t win states.”
Friday’s dominance wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for this group. In five tournaments this fall, Aspen has won four of them. And of those five, the low medalist had been wearing a Skier polo each time. Lanese won the first three tournaments this season, with AHS senior Jack Hughes winning Wednesday at Gypsum Creek.
With Pevny’s win Friday, this gives the Skiers their third different tournament winner, and they have the potential to add to that number as the season moves forward.
“Any one of our guys can win on any one of the days,” AHS coach Mary Woulfe said. “That’s just a good place to be as a coach. You just have to make sure the lineup is working. We keep track of the differentials based on course difficulty, and two of the kids have been within .01.”
Pevny was the only player in the red on Friday, shooting a 1-under-par 70. Lanese finished second, shooting even-par, while Hughes was third with a 2-over 73 for the Aspen podium sweep. The fourth-best score came from AHS senior Colter Zwieg, who shot 75, although because of the team’s depth had to officially compete in the junior varsity portion of the tournament.
Rounding out the varsity top five were AHS senior Dawson Holmes and Basalt senior Holden Kleager, a Glenwood Springs High School student. Each shot 5-over 76 to tie for fifth.
“Good win. It was wet out there today and the course played really hard because of that. If you didn’t hit the ball really crisply, you were probably going to chunk it a little bit,” Woulfe said. “And the boys pulled it out. It was hard-fought, and the two guys that played on our second team that are trying to fight for one of those regional spots, they battled it out today.”
Aspen shot a three-player team score of 214, a convincing 34 strokes ahead of runner-up Basalt and 36 strokes ahead of third-place Summit. After Kleager, Basalt received an 84 from sophomore Tyler Sims, while junior Blake Exelbert and senior Tyler Dollahan each shot 88.
“I’m happy with the way the kids persevered. It was a grind out there today. We had some big numbers, but my guys kept in there,” Basalt coach Joseph Fries said. “All in all, you can’t complain about second place, especially when you get beat by Aspen. It’s almost like first place in the ‘A’ flight. Hats off to them. What they did today we incredible. But our guys, I’m happy with where we are.”
The Longhorns have finished a steady second or third in each of their tournaments this season, although everyone seems to be playing second fiddle to the Skiers. Aspen entered the season with a group of six varsity players, all with an eye on winning the school’s first state championship as a team.
More than halfway through the regular season, a state championship looks more than plausible.
“Confidence is through the roof, I would say,” Pevny said. “I don’t feel like anyone can stop us right now and I think it’s going to carry through the season.”
After playing four tournaments in five days this week, the Skiers are headed into a long break. They won’t compete next week, which is the first week of school, and will disperse the following week for experiential education. Their next tournament is scheduled for Sept. 5 at Moffat County, followed by a tournament in nearby Steamboat the next day.
Aspen will close out the regular season with a Sept. 12 tournament at Dos Rios Golf Course and a Sept. 13 tournament at Keystone Ranch. Dos Rios, located in Gunnison, happens to be where the Sept. 17 regional tournament will be played. Before then, Woulfe is tasked with determining which of the Aspen six, which includes Jack’s younger brother, Nic Pevny, will make the four-man squad for regionals.
“It’s really important for all the kids to know this is a six-man effort, not a four-man effort,” Woulfe said. “That’s the hard part. Who do we take? It could be any one of the six of them that could win the state tournament. They are all that good. So the question becomes, who are the best four in September as we move forward? It’s going to be hard.”
The track at the Utah Olympic Park will be put to good use toward the tail end of 2022. The Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cups stop at the UOP from Nov. 28 through Dec. 4, and then the Luge World Cup from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.
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