Basalt golfers struggle on a devilish tract |

Basalt golfers struggle on a devilish tract

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

DELTA, Colo. ” Devil’s Thumb Golf Club gave Basalt golfers a devil of a time Wednesday afternoon.

In their first tournament in nearly two weeks, all three Longhorns showed rust on the difficult Delta course. No. 1 Marty Knous, who posted two top 5s in his previous three tournaments (including a win at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction), worked around a mid-round double bogey to tie for seventh with a 77. Luke Newberry wound up with 102 and Kyp Schoon 114. Patrick Hall, the team’s second-best player, missed the trip because of an illness.

Dominic Johnson fired a 71 to earn medal honors and lead Montezuma-Cortez (233) to a second-place finish. Montrose (227) took home the team title. The Longhorns finished 14th out of 15.

“We had two weeks off, and it really looked like it out there,” Basalt head coach Steve Knous said. “They were struggling a little bit, but they held it together. … I sense the kids know they’re on the cusp of shooting better scores. It hasn’t quite translated on the scorecard yet.”

Marty Knous had the chance to go low, but narrowly missed multiple birdie putts from 10 to 12 feet, Steve Knous said. There were also a few bogeys where he flirted with the course’s wide assortment of hazards, from rocks and scrub weeds to sand.

His lone major gaffe came at No. 10.

Marty Knous took a bold line off the tee at No. 10 ” a sharp dogleg with water lining the entire right side. His splash landing led to a double bogey.

“Marty’s got incredible length off the tee and nine times out of 10 he can pound it over the water,” Steve Knous said. “It was one of those bad breaks. … There’s always that one hole that kills you. No. 10 gets most kids.”

The coach said much of the team’s two-week hiatus from tournament play was spent focusing on the short game. The initial payoff was minimal Wednesday, as the entire team struggled around the greens.

“The quality of shots seems to be a little bit better overall, but the short game is the problem which is typical with high schoolers,” Knous said. “The scores don’t reflect it, but I felt like the guys were playing better than they have been.”

The Longhorns next tee off Wednesday in Steamboat Springs at Haymaker Golf Course. Thursday, they play a tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig.

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