‘Horns’ streak halted in Montrose | AspenTimes.com

‘Horns’ streak halted in Montrose

Jon MaletzAspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. The Basalt golfers finally had an off day Wednesday. It’s a safe bet other teams are not offering much sympathy.Basalt, which opened the season with five straight wins is as many tournaments, didn’t top the leaderboard Wednesday at Conquistador Golf Course. While senior Jim Knous won top medalist – his fifth win this season (teammate Connor Rakowski had another) – after firing a 1-under-par 71, his teammates struggled. Rakowski shot 77 and Marty Knous finished with 87 for the Longhorns, who had to “settle” for a second-place tie with Cortez, three shots behind Montrose.”One day won’t hurt anybody,” Jim Knous said. “Even though we didn’t win, it was a good bad day for us.” Knous picked up right where he left off last week at Black Canyon Golf Club in Montrose, finishing three shots clear of the field. He missed three reasonable birdie opportunities to open the round but finally broke through at No. 6 – his fourth hole. Knous lined up a 30-foot putt that died near the hole but crept into the cup. He followed with consecutive bogeys – his tee shot at the par-3 seventh sailed off line, then his approach at the par-4 eighth sailed long, and he couldn’t convert the up-and-down. “The shot was like 110 yards, which I usually dial in,” Knous said. “I actually thought it was a perfect shot in the air. Sometimes you get bad breaks.”He rebounded with birdies at the par-5 10th, the 13th and 15th. In between, he gave back a shot on 14; Knous found himself playing from the adjacent hole after a wayward drive. His second shot stopped short of the green, then he chipped up and two-putted. “The scores weren’t as low today as usual, but I was pretty consistent,” Knous said. “I couldn’t ask for more than that.”Rakowski, a winner earlier this season at Grand Junction’s Tiara Rado golf course, was hoping for much more. His frustrations culminated with a double bogey on his final hole. His drive landed just short of the green, and his ensuing pitch came up short. He proceeded to shank two short pitches, then two-putted. He settled for a round of 6-over.Marty Knous posted a round of 73 at Black Canyon to force a playoff with his brother. The sophomore, an admittedly streaky player, followed that performance with his second 87 in the past three tournaments.”[Rakowski] and [Marty Knous] just weren’t playing their normal game,” Jim Knous said. “Everybody has those kinds of days. I bet we will bounce back. It’s now getting to the end of the season, so we’ll start getting dialed in and working hard.”In a 4A Western Slope where only two teams earn trips to state, Basalt coach Pat Riley said he saw Wednesday’s result as a positive.”We have an idea of what we need to improve on to be able to get to state,” he said. “These tournaments are really just for experience. The thing that really matters is regionals.” The Longhorns tee off in pursuit of win No. 6 today at Durango’s Hillcrest Golf Club.Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com