Red-hot ‘Horns senior wins again
GRAND JUNCTION Once Jim Knous woke up, he was unstoppable. Groggy at the start of his round early Monday morning at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction, the Basalt senior got the wake-up call he needed after opening with two straight bogeys.After that, Knous was so good, the rest of the field might has well have been asleep because this was no contest.Knous finished with six birdies – including five in a seven hole stretch – to make it two-for-two in the young high school season, winning by three strokes and leading the Longhorns to their second straight team win.The 3-under round of 68 was the only one under par for the day among the field of 88 golfers from 22 high schools.The only thing to diminish the dominating performance was Knous pointing out that he fired a 66 last year in the same tournament.”I’ve just been really consistent,” Knous said. “I’m just starting to get to that point in my game where I can consistently get par and a few birdies here and there. Today, I just got really hot for seven holes.”Knous’ senior teammate Connor Rakowski had his second top-five finish, shooting a 2-over 73 for fourth. The team win came down to Knous’ sophomore brother, Marty, whose 83 gave Basalt – with 224 points – a one-stroke win over 4A Fruita Monument. “I expect Jim and Connor to play around par, which they did today, and when they do, it really depends on how Marty plays,” Basalt coach Pat Riley said. “He’s the deciding one as far as if we’re going to win.”Fruita Monument’s Anthony DePalma shot an even 71 to finish second to Knous, while 4A Montrose’s Justin Russell shot a third-place 72 to help his team to third place overall with a 227. Aspen, led by an 80 from senior Taylor Huske, finished 14th. Skiers sophomore Conor Hansen shot an 82 and senior Gerald Hua fired a 96.Aspen was without its best golfer, Trent Manchester, who was practicing with the football team Monday.Huske had four birdies in his round, and has been the Skiers’ most consistent golfer after three tournaments.”Even though he’s the middle man on the roster, he’s been the low man at two of the three tournaments so far,” said Skiers assistant coach Rob Geisbert. “I think all the boys are playing good … They’re not necessarily as golf-oriented as some of the other teams, but they’re having fun, and that’s the important thing. They all plugged away out there today.”With no wind and sunny skies overhead, conditions were ideal for low scores Monday. Knous said Bookcliff’s closely aligned fairways also made it easy to overcome mistakes.On the 16th, Knous hit his drive so far right it ended up on the adjacent fairway – which, conveniently, provided him with perfect line for a second shot onto the green.”You could kind of spray it around out there a little bit,” Knous said. “I was hitting my driver well and putting really well. I’d guess I probably had under 30 putts today.”Both golf teams play again in Grand Junction today at Tiara Rado Golf Course – the second Western Slope tournament among four scheduled for this week.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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