Panthers look strong at Conquistador
Team finishes first as Rudosky wins
top individual honors
Maybe it was the opportunity to eat a home-cooked breakfast. Maybe it was familiarity with the home-course pins. Whatever the reason, the Montezuma-Cortez High School golf team put together an impressive performance on Aug. 21 at Conquistador Golf Course.
Competing against teams from Durango, Montrose, Pagosa Springs and Telluride, the Panthers finished first overall with a combined 5-man varsity score of 229. Durango finished second with a team score of 232 and Montrose finished third with a score of 236.
For players and coaches alike, the victory was sweet considering that it was the team’s first of the season and happened on the home course.
“We had a nice day,” said head coach Micah Rudosky. “We played today’s course (from the gold tees). The course played at roughly 7000 yards, which is a pretty good test of golf. (The team’s performance) showed that these kids can really play.”
“It’s always fun to play out here,” added junior Hayden Plewe. “It’s the best way to spend my day.”
Leading the Panthers was Jakob Rudosky, whose score of 73 turned out to be a tournament best. As impressive as Rudosky’s round was, it could have been better, a scary thought for players hoping to compete with the senior over the course of the rest of the reason.
“I played pretty well for the most part,” said Rudosky. “I hit the ball well all day. I just made some really bad mistakes. I hit a couple of balls in the water and I really shouldn’t have done that. I’m pretty happy with how I played today, just not as happy with the score.”
Finishing four shots behind Rudosky and tied for third overall with a score of 77, Plewe looked strong. Even so, the junior, coming off a tournament victory in Gypsum last week, felt like he could have played better.
“I was scrambling a lot,” said Plewe. “I felt like I could have posted better. Once I start clicking and get my mind in the right place, I’ll start posting low.”
Turning in an especially impressive round for the Panthers was junior Tristen Shelby. Playing some of the best golf of his high school career, Shelby’s played with focus and consistency in shooting a round of 79.
“Today was one of my better rounds,” said Shelby. “Seventy-nine is probably the best that I’ve shot. Hopefully I can keep improving and shoot even lower than that this year.”
Rounding out the varsity scoring for the Panthers, sophomore Levi Gross fired an 84 and sophomore Ryan Aiken shot an 88. Senior Terrence Yarbrough turned in the top junior varsity score, shooting an 85.
While the Panthers were clearly pleased with their performance, coaches and players agreed that there are still improvements to be made.
“We still have a lot of room for improvement,” said Rudosky. “It’s a short season and these tournaments come fast. It’s important to work on the right things when we are practicing. We just want to keep working hard.”
Although there is still work to be done, early returns have been positive. The 2013 Panther golf team is just getting started.