Young Tigers golfers open SHS preps season
FARMER’S KORNER – Jason Chrobak shot an 86 to help lead the Summit High boys golf team to a sixth-place finish Thursday in the Tigers’ season-opening tournament at Foothills Golf Course in Denver.
Golden topped the Jeffco Big 10 tournament with a four-score total of 306 strokes, followed by Ralston Valley in second with 316. Conifer (325), Evergreen (343), D’Evelyn (347), Summit (348), Alameda (356), Elizabeth (373), Englewood (462) and Jefferson (472) rounded out the field.
Golden’s Kyle Lewis claimed medalist honors with a 1-under-71 that edged Englewood’s John Scott by a stroke.
The Tigers got a pair of 87’s from Sean Star and Eric Nilsson, Pete Richmond fired an 88 and Brett Miller carded a 96 to round out the scoring.
“We’ve got to work harder on our short games,” Tigers first-year coach Alex Pournelle said. “Some of the guys have some pretty good short games in practice, but they get out on the course and they just don’t cut it. I think we can improve and do pretty well this year, though.”
Following Thursday’s tournament, the Tigers returned to Summit County – and returned to the golf course – to conclude team qualifying. In the end, Pournelle selected 14 players for the team. In addition to Chrobak, Star, Nilsson, Richmond and Miller, the squad consists of Billy Barto, Christian Bassett, Travis Shackelford, Jake Dolack, Adam Nance, Beau Beling, Ethan Wolach, Alex Shackleton and Ben Clark.
The team is dominated by underclassmen, as three freshmen and six sophomores dot the roster. Pournelle will depend on leadership from three juniors and the team’s two seniors, Shackelford and Beling.
“We’ve got a lot of younger guys with good swings,” Pournelle said. “All they need is experience, and hopefully as they get older they’ll get a little smarter out there on the course.
“We’re looking to get some experience and do as well as we can this year. Then we’ll come into next year and start right off.”
Pournelle has lived in Summit County since March and is working at The Raven at Three Peaks. He is preparing for his playing ability test while planning on a career as a golf professional. Originally from South Carolina, Pournelle played golf for six years in high school before attending Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., where he played four seasons.
“I moved out here to do a little skiing, but I was always a lot better at golf,” he joked. “I’ve worked with kids and we always had summer camps in college and conducted junior clinics.”
Pournelle said it was difficult to gauge the quality of play in the Class 4A field in Thursday’s tournament, but he believes the Tigers can eventually contend for tournament titles.
“I saw some of the better teams play (Thursday). The talent is really scattered,” he said. “There are a lot of low-end golfers and a lot of high-end golfers in the class. I’d like us to finish in the top three, but I don’t know if that’s realistic yet.”
The Tigers are next in action Tuesday at Lake Arbor Golf Club in Arvada.
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