Summit High School head golf coach Gary Sorensen thought for sure that one or two of his players would finish high enough at regionals to qualify for state. All season he had at least one or two of his guys finishing tournaments with scores competitive enough to qualify. He even thought his team had a dark-horse chance at winning the tournament Tuesday in Gypsum, if everyone brought their A game.
Two of his guys were close to qualifying, but in the end Gypsum Creek Golf Course had other ideas.
With high hopes, the 2013 Summit golf season met with an unfortunate end at 4A Regionals, Tuesday. The Tiger golfers finished tied for eighth in the tournament, shooting a 256 as a team. Tournament winner Durango shot a 228.
“I’m sure they’re disappointed,” Summit athletic director Amy Raymond said of their performance. “They had the talent to go on.”
The top team and top 11 individuals (in addition to the Durango team) all qualified for the state tournament. Jacob Rudosky of Cortez finished with the best individual score, marking down a 72.
Summit seniors Nick Wittrock and Mike Magnuson both finished shooting 83 on the day, just 2 strokes higher than the last state qualifying score of 81. Had either managed to shave 2 strokes from their scores, they would have been in a playoff for the final spots to go to state.
Sorensen said a few critical holes cost his two lead golfers. Magnuson finished two holes with costly double-bogeys, one of which, the par-5 fourth, he had eagled in the practice round.
An errant tee shot on the 16th hole led Witrock to a tough drop on dirt behind a tree, Sorensen said. Witrock went on to finish 5 over par on the hole.
Fellow senior Dave Metzger, who shot a 77 at Gypsum earlier in the season, struggled, playing through illness to finish with a 90.
“I’m sure it’s disappointing for him. He’s definitely a stronger golfer than that,” athletic director Amy Raymond said of Metzger’s performance.
Junior Jack Bilenduke also scored a 90.
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise strong year. Sorensen said the team as a whole showed continued improvement throughout the season.
He was especially impressed by members of the team who learned to play a smarter game during the season by taking fewer risks.
While three of the four members who went to regionals are seniors, Raymond said the team has some promising underclassmen.
“We’ve got a group of young kids; it’s good and exciting to see what’s coming up,” Raymond said.
As for the year as a whole, “everybody was really happy with the season. They had some great individual and team results,” she said.