Skiers nab another 3A golf victory
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen’s Jesse Beetham knew he had struck his approach shot at his final hole solidly Thursday afternoon, but he could not see the cup.
Basalt head coach Al Rakowski watched the dramatic scene unfold from the side of the green at Gypsum Creek Golf Course.
“I watched this thing, and I was like, ‘Holy cow!'” Rakowski said. “The ball went in the cup and bounced right back out. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Beetham nearly holed out for eagle from 182 yards and forced a playoff. Instead, he had to settle for a tap-in birdie and a runner-up finish.
The senior carded a 2-over-par 74, helping lead Aspen to a fourth 3A team title in as many days. Steamboat Springs, led by a 73 from Erik Sobeck, who earned medalist honors for a second consecutive day, captured the overall title.
August So produced a 79 and Clayton Crawford an 80 for the Skiers, who amassed 233 points. Basalt, led by a 78 from Tristan Rohrbaugh, finished eight strokes behind their upvalley rivals.
“I hit a good shot and really did all I could do, so I wasn’t too sad about it,” Beetham said of his close call. “It’s a little disappointing because I had such a good start today, but I was able to grind out a pretty good score.”
Beetham, who rebounded from a lackluster 82 on Monday at Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction with a 75 Wednesday at Avon’s Eagle Vail Golf Club, was 3-under through seven holes on a warm Thursday. Then, he recorded two bogeys and a double in a four-hole stretch.
“That just killed me,” Beetham admitted. “I just wasn’t hitting it well for those couple holes. I made some really poor swings.
“I’m pretty happy with 2-over. I’m still trying to put it all together.”
So is Crawford, who earned medalist honors at Tuesday’s Titan Invitational at New Castle’s Lakota Canyon Ranch Golf Club. The junior was piecing together a solid round Thursday until a quadruple bogey at No. 17.
“I hit one in the water there, then dropped, and it wasn’t a great lie,” Crawford said. “I didn’t hit a very good chip and had three putts from there. It’s obviously not great, but it comes with the territory.”
“Clayton had a tough day, but he fought really hard,” Aspen head coach Mary Woulfe added. “August had another good showing. We’re hoping to have him bring his scores down because we’re going to need him.”
Rohrbaugh followed up his 75 in Monday’s season opener at Bookcliff, which was good for a second-place individual finish, with another stellar effort Thursday. His teammates could not follow suit, however.
Team standout Dylan Rakowski managed only an 81 – not bad considering his 10 at the par-5 sixth – and Peter Steckler, a Glenwood Springs High School junior, carded an 82.
“We can’t quite seem to catch up to Aspen. It’s frustrating, but it’s only our second tournament,” coach Rakowski said. “I think we need to pick it up a little bit.
“We’ll get there. We just need to be patient.”
The Longhorns and Skiers will tee it up again today at Rifle Creek Golf Course.
“We played well down there at regionals last year, so we’re looking forward to it,” Woulfe said.
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