Basalt golfers struggle in Junction |

Basalt golfers struggle in Junction

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” Ideal conditions at Grand Junction’s Bookcliff Country Club produced a host of low scores in Monday’s Tiger Invitational.

None came from Basalt.

In their second tournament of the young season, the Longhorns fared better but only one golfer ” no. 1 Marty Knous (80) ” cracked 100. As a result, Basalt finished in a tie for 16th on a course where, in 2007, Jim Knous shot 3-under-par 68, Connor Rakowski finished fourth and the Longhorns won the team title.

Basalt finished 62 points behind tournament winner Montrose (223), whose three golfers all finished in the top three. Montezuma-Cortez (232), Battle Mountain (235), Steamboat Springs (237) and Central and Eagle Valley (246) rounded out the top five.

“It was a beautiful day, but the golf wasn’t great,” first-year Longhorns coach Steve Knous said. “All the guys know they have the ability to put up better numbers than we did. … We’ve got some work to do.”

One day after shooting 74 to win the net club title at Ironbridge Golf Club in Glenwood Springs, Marty Knous finished outside the individual top 10 after firing an 80 at Bookcliff. The trouble started early for the junior. After a par at his opening hole ” the difficult 230-yard par-3 17th ” he bogeyed back-to-back par 5s. He three-putted the 18th, then hit an errant drive at No. 1 that landed in an adjacent fairway.

“Those were missed opportunities,” Marty Knous said. “I had a lot of missed opportunities out there.”

After missing the green off the tee at the par-3 third, Knous dropped to 3-over. He made up one shot with a birdie at the fourth.

That success was short-lived. After a string of pars and a bogey at six, Knous bogeyed holes eight, 10, 11 and 12. He three-putted the par-4 ninth and walked away with a double.

“The greens had some hills and stuff, but they weren’t too bad,” he said. “I just didn’t have it today.”

“It’s so easy to lose focus for a little period of time,” Steve Knous added. “Sometimes it’s hard to snap out of it.”

Marty Knous’ inconsistent play continued. He knocked his tee shot at the par-3 13th to seven feet and converted the birdie putt, parred the 14th then hooked his wedge shot at the 140-yard par-3 15th, leading to a bogey. He finished with a par at 16.

Patrick Hall and Luke Newberry, competing for the first time this season, shot 101 and 104, respectively.

“We talked a little bit afterward about what our goals are and what we’d really like to see,” Steve Knous said. “Marty has the ability to shoot in the low 70s. If we can get him down there and get the other two guys to shot in the 80s, it probably won’t be good enough to win tournaments but it will be respectable.

“I think the guys are a little disappointed. They have hope they’ll do better tomorrow.”

The Longhorns tee off today at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction. So, too, will Aspen, which finished 13th on Monday.

Ryan Fahy and Bobby Moyer shot matching 91s and Coulter Young 93 to lead the Skiers. Head coach Mary Woulfe did not return calls seeking comment.

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