Skiers golfers win again in Montrose
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen golfer Jesse Beetham described Thursday’s round at The Bridges as “very calm and steady.”
The same can be said of Aspen’s first two weeks of the prep golf season.
The Skiers have met and exceeded lofty expectations thus far, winning four of five tournaments. (They came in second in the other despite missing a few of their top players.)
Aspen won three tournaments in the last four days. The latest came Thursday in Montrose, where three scores in the 70s helped the Skiers secure top honors with a team total of 222 – six strokes clear of second-place finisher Cortez. Rifle (230) finished third and Montrose, Durango, Fruita Monument and Grand Junction shared fourth with 236.
Beetham paced the squad – and the field – with an even par 71. Clayton Crawford pitched in with 75 and August So carded 76.
All three players finished in the top 10 in the individual standings – hardly a new development for a talented, deep squad that many think will contend for a state title next month.
“Oh my gosh, it’s been fun,” Skiers head coach Mary Woulfe said of her team’s dominant early stretch. “This is a coach’s dream.”
Added Crawford: “We’re having a great time and different people are stepping up every day.”
Beetham shook off a bogey at the third hole Thursday with three birdies in a five-hole stretch to close out the front nine. He drained a 6-footer for birdie at No. 5, then rolled another in from 30 feet on the eighth. He reached the green in two at the par-5 ninth, then two-putted to improve to 2-under.
“I was hitting it well and making some good putts – some were dropping and some weren’t,” he said. “I really only made two bad swings all day. Obviously, it didn’t kill me since I won the event.”
Beetham pulled his tee shot left and out of bounds at No. 13, resulting in a double bogey. He then three-putted the 14th.
“I was really disappointed,” he said. “I went from 2-under to 1-over just like that.”
Beetham rebounded quickly, “striping a 5-iron” from the fairway on 15 and sinking a 6-footer for birdie.
“I experienced everything during those three holes,” Beetham said. “It was very crazy.”
Crawford, meanwhile, birdied two of his first three holes. He struggled from there, however, recording two double bogeys en route to a 75 – five more than he posted Wednesday at Black Canyon Golf Club, when he helped Aspen top the field with a 216.
“It was just a bad swing that gets you in trouble, and I had one land in the lip of the bunker,” Crawford said. “I’m playing better and starting to pull it together, though.”
The Skiers next tee it up Monday at Rifle Creek Golf Course, site of Sept. 20’s regionals.
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Vail and Beaver Creek resorts Senior Communications Manager John Plack said the company agrees with the state’s assessment that the ski industry must be out-front in its approach to ensure a safe and successful season in Colorado.