State golf: Basalt’s Rohrbaugh sits in third
The Aspen Times
Turn up the heat — in more ways than one.
Top high school golfers in the state ramped up the heat Monday on Day 1 of the Class 3A State Golf Championships at the Pueblo Country Club.
Playing in hot, dry conditions (94 degrees by midafternoon), the leading golfers torched the treacherous and tricky par-71 course with two players under par.
Teammates Cameron Connor and Cole Folwell, of Alexander Dawson (Lafayette), shot matching 69s Monday to share the lead halfway through the 36-hole state championships.
Basalt High School senior Tristan Rohrbaugh shot even par to stand alone in third place, two strokes behind the Alexander Dawson leaders.
Aspen senior Clayton Crawford shot a 7-over 78 to lead the Skiers into third place in the team standings after the first 18 holes. Crawford is tied for 11th with 18 holes to play today on the 6,500-yard course.
Will Hazen carded a 79 for the Skiers on Monday. They also scored an 81 from Trey Robinson, who is tied for 22nd.
Patrick Martin shot 84, tied for 33rd.
The top three scores put the Skiers at plus-25, three strokes behind No. 2 Kent Denver.
Alexander Dawson is out front by a whopping 22 strokes at even par.
Aspen stands three strokes ahead of fourth-place Denver Lutheran and eight strokes ahead of Peak to Peak (Lafayette).
Rohrbaugh had to overcome a difficult start at the historic Pueblo Country Club, which opened in 1903.
“I started pretty bad. I three-putted my first hole for bogey,” Rohrbaugh said. “On the second hole, I … hit a tree. Managed to make par.”
Then, on No. 3, Rohrbaugh drilled his first birdie to ride a roller coaster to even par after three holes.
Fast forward to No. 8.
The Basalt senior, on a 180-yard par 3, rolled the ball to within 8 feet of the hole.
“But the pin was on a weird back tier,” said Rohrbaugh, who watched his possible birdie putt slide by the cup and roll for 10 more feet.
“Bogey,” he said.
After making the turn at 1-over, Rohrbaugh had to use a well-placed flop shot to save par on the 10th hole.
He dropped a birdie on the par-4 No. 12 and another on the par-5 15th.
“Then, I screwed up 16. I hit … 1 yard long, over the green. Bogey,” he said of another hole that was a potential birdie on his scorecard.
Two pars to finish the round produced the even-par round of 71.
“The greens were not insane fast. But they had a lot of undulations, which made them faster,” said Rohrbaugh, the son of Karla and Doug Rohrbaugh.
“Tristan really made it happen (Monday),” Basalt High School golf coach Al Rakowski said. “The greens were pretty tough, but he was hitting it close.”
Rakowski said Rohrbaugh and teammate Peter Steckler, who also qualified for state for the Longhorns, played two practice rounds at the Pueblo Country Club a week ago. They played another practice round Sunday. Steckler shot an 85 Monday.
With practice rounds and a competition round in his bag, Rohrbaugh said he’s ready to tackle the final 18 holes today.
“I’m probably going to attack a couple of holes,” he said, adding that he’ll scale back at a couple of other tees.
“I’m changing 10 and 11. I’ll go 3-wood. I’m leaving the driver in the bag (on No. 10 and No. 11).”
More hot weather and more hot golf is forecast for today in Pueblo.
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After the TCA offense came out swinging within minutes of the 3A title game beginning on Saturday in Pueblo, Rifle kept their composure, stayed the course and eventually nabbed a nail-biting 35-34 win for the championship.