Summit golf senior’s 2nd-place 77 leads strong showing at 3 tournaments
A second-place showing from senior Ricky Ahlquist spearheaded a strong three consecutive days of tournaments for Summit High School golfers this week.
The long-hitting Ahlquist completed the challenging 18-hole Rifle Creek Golf Course in 77 strokes, which tied his career best. Tigers head coach Ryne Scholl said the course is tough to tame, especially the back nine holes, which made Ahlquist’s performance that much more impressive. The senior nearly set a new career-best mark, but he holed-out a 5-foot final putt on the 18th green.
“To see him play that back nine the way he did was really cool,” Scholl said. “Everything was coming to fruition. He’s learning to play smart, and he shot even par on the back nine. … It was cool to see him go out there and take it on.”
Scholl said Ahlquist brought the focus on the short game to Rifle Creek on Tuesday, something Scholl has coached the Tigers to improve in recent weeks. The coach said Ahlquist has also put in the extra time outside of practice to catch up the quality of his chipping and putting to his ability to bomb balls deep down the fairways.
“Golf is a game where you get out what you put into it, so it’s no surprise to me seeing Ricky shoot certain scores with his short game coming together,” Scholl said.
Ahlquist’s 77 on Tuesday paired with Tigers junior Rece Greff’s 86 and senior Zach Carleton’s 88 to earn Summit a third-place finish. Scholl said the day was encouraging as each varsity Tigers player shot below 90.
Tuesday’s rounds followed a Monday when Summit finished sixth of 16 teams as senior Ranger Stone and Greff each set personal tournament records. Stone’s 80 was tops for the Tigers and earned him a tie for a 10th place overall finish.
Scholl said Stone was also a great example of a teamwide trend of shoring up the Tigers’ short games. Stone was joined Monday by Ahlquist’s 86, Greff’s 86, freshman Jace Melby’s 89 and junior Everett Gillett’s 91.
“Ranger had really been struggling with his driver, so he really exhibited a sense of maturity in choosing to put the driver away and attack the course only with his 3-wood and hybrid,” Scholl said. “It was course management. Ranger’s gone out there and played to his strengths and steered away from his weaknesses.”
Come Wednesday at the Gunnison High School Invitational at Dos Rios, it was Melby’s turn to shoot a personal tournament record — his 84 tying with Ahlquist for the second-best Tigers score on the day. Stone again led the way with an 80 to take Summit to a sixth-place finish. Scholl said Stone is the most consistent player on the team as he has developed his game in just two competitive years thanks to the former soccer player’s athleticism.
As for the come up of Melby, Scholl said it is a positive development for the team as the recent call-up to varsity adds depth to a Tigers team that has several players vying to be one of the four selected to play at regionals later this month.”
“Jace is the shortest hitter on the team — and he’s often one of shortest hitters at tournaments — but he understands the game and plays to his strengths with accurate shots and his position of the tee,” Scholl said. “Jace has a great short game, which enabled him to be successful and have a lot of par putts and tap-in bogey putts. It’s our goal this year to eliminate the double bogey, and he’s been able to do that with his ways and ability to navigate away from penalty shots.”
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