Drive for five: ‘Horns stay perfect
MONTROSE Basalts golfers are rolling. Consider Thursdays tournament at Montroses Black Canyon Golf Club, where three Longhorns finished in the top five. Two of those players competed in a playoff to vie for top medalist not to mention they had the same last name. After posting identical rounds of 3-over-par 73 and leading Basalt to a convincing fifth straight victory brothers Jim and Marty Knous were in the unfamiliar position of squaring off against each other.Older brother Jim, in what has become routine of late, prevailed with a par-3 on No. 9 to win for the second time in as many days and fourth time in five tournaments.Connor Rakowski shot 75 for the Longhorns who, at 221, finished eight strokes ahead of Montrose. Steamboat (235), Durango (238) and Cortez (240) rounded out the top five.I didnt even know what was happening. I came into the clubhouse, then Marty came in 20 minutes later and said, I shot 73, Jim, a senior, remembered. I remembered saying, Oh my God, youre nuts. Then it came to mind that I might be in a playoff with my brother.I was pretty psyched. I thought it would be fun, and I knew I could take him down.The brothers took different routes to the deciding hole. Jim overcame a sluggish day in which he started at No. 10 and posted three bogeys in his first six holes. It was kind of a struggle for me actually, said Jim, who shot a 4-under 67 Wednesday at the Bridges Golf & Country Club. I was not in the fairway on some holes, and on other holes I wasnt getting my distance control down. The greens were really sandy. When you were chipping, you didnt know what the ball was going to do.Jim birdied the par-5 16th and was 2-over through nine. His back nine consisted of two bogeys and a birdie at No. 7; he hit a wedge from 100 yards to 3 feet and converted the easy putt. Marty chunked his tee shot at No. 9 his first hole and wound up two-putting for bogey. He parred four consecutive holes before a birdie at the 14th. I knew I was even at that point, so I knew Id be somewhere in the 70s if I didnt blow up, the sophomore said. Im just a really inconsistent player, and I usually have a few blow-up holes that kills me.Martys two quadruple bogeys and one triple at the Bridges led to an 87. Thursday, he endured three straight bogeys at Nos. 17, 18 and 1. He approached his final hole, No. 8, at 4-over.His drive drifted right, bounced off a tree and came to rest in the fairway. His 8-iron from 150 yards stopped two feet from the hole, and he drained the putt.Marty, who shot a 2-over 74 earlier this summer at Ute Creek Golf Course in Longmont, then squared off against a familiar opponent in an unfamiliar position. His older brother did little to quell the tension.I tried to make him nervous, but I think he handled it well, Jim joked. I gave him a little brotherly love.I was definitely a little nervous, Marty said. There were a lot of people watching.Jim, who won at Black Canyon last year in a playoff on the very same hole, applied the pressure with a tee shot that found the putting surface. Marty followed with a shot that kicked right and stopped on the fringe.Marty sized up a downhill putt from 30 feet, but swung too hard. The ball rolled 15 feet past the hole. Marty couldnt convert his par attempt, as Jim calmly two-putted.I was a little disappointed, but Im still happy with a 73, Marty said.One day after three of its four players didnt crack 100, Aspen posted four scores in the 80s and a team score of 251 35 strokes better than Wednesday. Conor Hansen led the way with 81, Coby Langley shot 84, Gerald Hua finished 86 and Garrett Green recorded an 89.It made a difference that this was a shorter course, and we were able to negotiate it a little bit better, Aspen coach Gary Snyder said. It helped to have our young guys have one tournament under their belt.Jon Maletzs e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.