Basalt starts with a bang
PARACHUTE The summer they spent grinding away on local courses paid off Thursday when Basalt High School’s two best boys golfers opened the prep season at the Grand Valley Invitational in Parachute.After playing in a variety of junior tournaments in and outside Colorado this summer, Jim Knous opened his final high school season with an authoritative two-stroke win with his round of 75. Knous’ senior teammate Connor Rakowski, who won the Yampa River Junior Golf Classic last month in Craig, was also impressive, finishing fifth with a round of 81.Those two scores, coupled with an 88 from sophomore Marty Knous, gave Basalt a team score of 244 and earned the regional champs their first trophy of the season.Basalt was five strokes better than runner-up Rifle, with 4A Eagle Valley (250), 5A Grand Junction Central (254) and 4A Montrose (256) rounding out the top five.
Aspen, with rounds of 85 from senior Taylor Huske and sophomore Conor Hansen, finished seventh with a team score of 258. Skiers senior Trent Manchester was the team’s third-best golfer, finishing with an 88.Aspen followed with a fourth-place team finish Friday at the 10-team Glenwood Springs Invite, which Basalt opted to skip.Battle Mountain’s Diego Gasper’s two-stroke victory with a round of 78 propelled the Huskies to the team win (235), followed by Steamboat Springs (245) and host Glenwood (248).Manchester had the best round Friday for the Skiers, shooting an 83 to tie for ninth with Roaring Fork’s Max Frank. Senior Gerald Hua had the second-best round, shooting 85, followed by Hanson with a 90. Huske fired a 91 and wasn’t included in the final team score.
Jim Knous struggled with his swing early in the summer, but the senior found his stride after finishing back in the pack at an American Junior Golf Association Tournament in Oklahoma. He returned to Colorado and found himself in the hunt for a win at the Colorado Junior Golf Association’s Haywhacker Tournament in late June in Steamboat Springs. If not for a string of blunders early inhis second round, Knous likely would have won the tournament, settling instead for a second-place 73.
Knous carried his momentum into the Tom Whitehead Memorial in Vail a day later, taking second with a 3-over 74.Basalt and Aspen next play Monday at Grand Junction’s home tournament at Bookcliff Country Club, followed by Grand Junction Central’s Invite on Tuesday at the Tiara Rado Golf Club.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.
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