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Demons host final tuneups before regionals

Montezuma-Cortez’s Thayer Plewe shoots a 65 to win at Hillcrest
Bailey Burke of Durango High School watches his tee shot on Tuesday at Dalton Ranch Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Durango boys golf team hosted tournaments at the Hillcrest Golf Club and Dalton Ranch Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, giving the players one last chance to compete before the regional championships Tuesday in Montrose.

As a team, DHS finished sixth both days, with different golfers leading the team each day.

Sophomore Eli Holden shot a 77 on Monday at Hillcrest to lead DHS with a sixth-place finish. Freshman Bailey Burke shot an 81 to place 17th, sophomore Zach Griswold shot an 83 to place 23rd, senior Anthony Flint placed 26th with an 85, Nicholas Best placed 30th with an 86 while 12 other Demons also got to compete.

“I like some of the consistency Zach showed,” said DHS head coach Kirk Rawles. “Bailey is getting in the groove and Eli played great. It was nice to see him break 80; it’s awesome for him to know he can do that.”

Griswold played well enough to get the invite to compete with the team on Tuesday.

“I shot well yesterday,” Griswold said. “It was awesome. I didn’t do well in qualifiers, so it was nice to come down and play with my friends who did qualify.”

Montezuma-Cortez and Montrose tied for the team title at 229, but Thayer Plewe ran away with the individual title at Hillcrest. Plewe shot a 65, winning the tournament by eight strokes.

“He played really well yesterday,” said MCHS head coach Todd Plewe. “He was sinking his putts and he hit the ball really well.”

Vince Lopez shot a 78 for Cortez while freshman Gavin Frost shot a personal best 86 to round out their team score. “I’m really proud how the boys did yesterday and am excited for regionals,” coach Plewe said on Tuesday.

At Dalton Ranch, Piedra Vista dominated the leader board with three golfers placing in the top-four to win the tournament. Piedra’s Quinn Yost and Connor Tyson tied for first at 74, but Yost won in a tiebreaker.

Thayer Plewe led Cortez again with a 76 and a fifth-place finish.

Burke, meanwhile, led DHS with an 84, placing 13th out of 75 competitors.

Freshman Owen Muraro was right behind him, shooting a 85 to place 15th. Junior Cole Ulrich shot an 87 to place 23rd. Flint and freshman Jackson Orndorff both shot an 87 to place 25th and 26th. Griswold shot a 90, Best shot a 91, as did Luke Carlson and Mason O’Bannon. Holden shot a 93 on Tuesday.

Eli Holden of Durango High School tries to sink a putt on Tuesday at Dalton Ranch Club. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“It was good,” Griswold said. “I had a lot of pars, I just screwed up on one hole.”

Team wise, Griswold said, “I think we did pretty good; no 100s and not many high numbers for the difficulty of the course.”

Montrose finished second in the team race with 235, followed by Kirtland Central (253), Fruita Monument (254), Cortez (257) and Durango (261) in sixth out of 14 squads.

“We struggled a bit,” coach Plewe said. “We just made some bad decisions, which is all it takes around here.”

“It’s nice to see we don’t need to go far to see where we need to be,” Rawles said about the competition. “For the young guys, when they play with someone perception-aly better they can learn from them.”

With US 550 closed most of the day between Durango and Montrose, coach Rawles also said he appreciated the teams traveling to the tournaments.

On Tuesday, Durango will travel to the Cobble Creek Golf Club in Montrose where the golfers will try and qualify for the state tournament. With between six and eight golfers all within a stroke of each other, Rawles and his assistant coaches and the golfers will decide which four will represent the team.

Cortez, meanwhile, will host their regional on Tuesday as well.

colivas@durangoherald.com