Crawford wins 14-16 crown at Daily Sentinel tourney
Clayton Crawford knows how to finish strong on the golf course.
Tuesday at Tiara Rado, the Aspen golfer had an eagle on his final hole during the final round the 53rd annual Daily Sentinel Western Chapter Junior Championship to win the boys 14-16 age division.
Crawford’s eagle came on the par-5 14th hole, which allowed him to finish with a 2-under-par 68.
“The drive hung a little bit right. It was in the rough, but I hit it pretty far,” Crawford said. “I had to hit a 7 iron, then hit a 10-foot putt. They were all good shots that I hit firm.”
Aside from the eagle, Crawford’s round was highlighted by consistent play. Crawford carded two bogeys, but canceled those out with two birdies.
Crawford parred the other 13 holes.
The 14-year-old’s 68 was the lowest score of the two-day tournament.
“Nothing really big, just a lot of pars,” Crawford said. “That always looks good on the scorecard.”
Crawford played well enough to be tied for first place at 75 after the first day of the tournament at Bookcliff Country Club,
Crawford said his key to finishing as a winner was playing smart rounds of golf at both Bookcliff and Tiara Rado.
“I was managing the courses well,” Crawford said. “I hit a couple of errant shots, but I never got into big trouble.”
The win in the Daily Sentinel tournament is another Western Slope victory for Crawford, who finished first in late June at the Haywhacker Junior Golf Championship at Haymaker and Rolling Ranch golf courses in Steamboat Springs.
Crawford finished with a two-day 157 in Steamboat, and said the 2-under he shot Tuesday was one of his best rounds ever.
“It always feels good to put a low number up,” Crawford said. “I liked (Tiara Rado and Bookcliff), they are fun courses to play and they were both in great condition.”
Crawford will join the Aspen High School golf team in the fall, and has high aspirations in his first year.
“I want to help our team get to the state tournament,” Crawford said. “And I’d love to place well (at state).”
Although Crawford had the lowest single day score of the tournament, the lowest two-day total belonged to boys 16-18 age division winner Joey Saad.
The Fruita Monument golfer followed his first-round 70 with an even-par 70 at Tiara Rado to finish with a 140.
Ethan Grider of Fruita also shot a 70 on Tuesday, but finished six strokes behind Saad with a 146.
In the girls 14-15 age division, Katy Dyachkova of Centennial put together two solid round to finish first with a 156. Dyachkova, who attends Arapahoe High School, shot a 77 at Tiara Rado after Monday’s 79 at Bookcliff.
“You have to putt well at both places,” Dyachkova said.
Taylor Walters of Rifle finished second behind Dyachkova with a 170.
In the girls 16-18 age division, Rachel Reiling took first with a 164. Alexander O’Laughlin finished four strokes back at 168.