GJ’s Wise shakes slump to win Wildcat Invitational

Grand Junction’s Paul Harmon hits a 150-yard shot to within five feet of the No.9 pin Monday on the Desert course at Adobe Creek National Golf Course during the Wildcat Invitational.

Alex Wise found there is no magic recipe for breaking a slump.

Monday at Adobe Creek Golf Course, the Grand Junction High School senior golfer shot a season-low 73 to win the Wildcat Invitational.

“I’ve been in quite a slump most of the season,” Wise said. “It felt good to put up a low score again.”

Wise said he played well during the summer but has under performed during the high school season.

“Once the season started I don’t know what happened,” Wise said. “I could never get it together, but today I finally did.”

It was perfect timing for Wise’s first individual win of the season. The Class 5A Metro East regional is next Monday at Tiara Rado Golf Course.

“This was a good time to have it,” Wise said. “I was starting to lose faith because regionals was coming up and I was still in a slump, so this is a big confidence boost.”

Wise added he had trouble putting together complete rounds this season. He said he’d play a really strong first nine then self destruct on the second nine.

That tendency was nowhere to be found Monday.

“By about hole 16 or 17, I knew I was playing good,” Wise said. “It’s easy when that happens because you really aren’t trying too hard, you just step up and hit the ball.”

Right behind Wise were four Fruita Monument players who helped the Wildcats win their own invitational with a 228.

Leading the way was Joey Saad’s 74. Will Berg and Ryan Blair both shot 77.

Saad said the team was driven to win its own invitational.

“The expectations are high,” Saad said. “We know the course and there are no secrets, so you can hopefully use that to your advantage.”

Monday was the fourth tournament the Wildcats have won this year. Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said he was excited to see his players score well after tough rounds the previous week. “The weekend in Steamboat (Springs) and Craig was hard on a couple of our guys,” Fox said. “So I think the one thing we tried to do today is build some confidence.”

Central’s Taylor Haynie shot an 80, and was the lone Central player to score in the top 10. Overall, the Warriors finished with a season-best 246.

“This is the first time we’ve broken 250,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “This is a good course to play before regionals.”

Kyler Smith’s 79 led Palisade, and Tyler Day turned in an 81 for the Bulldogs.

Palisade had an unusually long break in its golf season, and Monday was the first tournament the Bulldogs have played in 11 days.

“We took last week off to allow the players to get caught up with school,” Palisade coach Jan Norell said. “This is a good tournament to come back and play some good golf.”

Palisade has its regional tournament next Tuesday at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose.

Joining Palisade in the regional is Montezuma-Cortez. The Panthers won the Durango Invite on Monday at Hillcrest Golf Club with a 226.

Drew Trujillo of Montrose finished fourth with a 76, and the Indians finished second as a team with a 237.


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