Panthers’ season tees off

Montezuma-Cortez golf team opens with 3 tournaments on the road

Jakob Rudosky eyes his shot on the 18th green at the Montezuma-Cortez High School golf team practice Aug. 7, at Conquistador Golf Course. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Jakob Rudosky eyes his shot on the 18th green at the Montezuma-Cortez High School golf team practice Aug. 7, at Conquistador Golf Course.

The Montezuma-Cortez High School golf team concluded a busy season opening week at Grand Junction and Montrose.

Junior captain Jakob Rudosky recorded two runner-up finishes Monday and Wednesday. He shot 76 at the 18-team Bookcliff Invitational, which was hosted by Grand Junction High School. The Panthers combined for 248 as a team, while Steamboat Springs captured the tournament title.

Rudosky narrowly missed medaling at Bridges Golf Club in Montrose on Wednesday with a 73. Montrose High’s Cole Brennecke staved off Rudosky shooting 72, thanks in large part his hole-in-one ace on No. 12.

The Panthers placed third as a team, shooting 231. Hayden Plewe and Keith Hawkins each scored 79. Fruita Monument was first-place as a team (227).

“That wasn’t a bad tournament for us. We’re putting up some good numbers, we just have to put it together as a team,” M-CHS coach Micah Rudosky said.

Other scores from the Bookcliff Invite were, Plewe, 84; Hawkins, 88; Ryan Aiken, 97; Triston Shelby, 94; and, Levi Gross, 94.

“We’re good enough as the other teams, we just haven’t shown it yet. We’re not playing to our potential, yet,” coach Rudosky said. “It’s my job to get these guys motivated, and working hard and working on the right things. A little different start this year. It’s a little different for us, but we still have a young team, and these guys are playing better and better every tournament.”

Aiken and Gross shot 93 and 94 at Bridges.

On Thursday at Montrose’s Black Canyon Golf Club, the Panthers shot one stroke better with a 230, but finished a place lower in fourth. M-CHS scores were, Jakob Rudosky, 75; Plewe, 76; Hawkins, 79; Aiken, 85; and, Gross, 88. Rifle took the team championship at 219.

As always, the coach feels his team will peak toward the end of the season when M-CHS hosts regionals. The M-CHS Invitational will be a good barometer Wednesday of how the Panthers measure up for regionals in the 13-team tournament at Conquistador Golf Course.

“I think it can be good for us. These guys know what they can shoot out here. It’s just a matter of going out there, and being relaxed enough and not putting too much pressure on themselves,” Micah Rudosky said. “I look forward to our tournament. We’ll have a nice test. We’ll see teams we don’t normally see throughout the year, like Steamboat. This will show us what we have to do for regionals. It will be a fun time to see what we need to do.”

The Panthers have defended their home course well over the years, including a team course record in 2010.

Tee time is at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22.