Crowd of Bears at top gives Rifle second win in a row
With the individual runner-up and three players who tied for third place, the Rifle High School boys golf team concluded its busy week Friday with its second straight tournament win.
This time the Bears feasted on home cooking, winning the 10-team Rifle Invitational at Rifle Creek Golf Course by two strokes over Aspen High School. It was the fifth day in a row Rifle played in a tournament and its sixth in nine days.
“This is a great way to end a long week,” Bears coach Jordan Smith said. “I didn’t swing one club, and I’m exhausted. I can’t imagine how the boys feel. “We’re definitely riding a high right now.”
The Bears’ confidence was soaring after a win Thursday in the 15-team Montrose Invitational at Black Canyon Golf Club. The players shot 219 there and followed up Friday with a 221.
Smith said Friday’s field had several teams capable of winning the tourney, but he told his players, “If we all go out and beat everybody in our group, we’re going to win today.”
Ty Caron led the Bears’ charge, carding a 73, two off the pace of medalist Jesse Beetham of Aspen. Among the five players tied for third with 74s were Rifle’s Triston Quigley, Danny Bartels and Teig Hauer.
Caron’s play the past two days reflects the emergence Smith believed was coming from the junior.
“Triston and Danny have been our horses the past two years, and Ty is stepping into a leadership role this year,” Smith said. “Ty’s just kind of an even-keeled kid, doesn’t get too affected, good or bad.”
Smith said Caron worked a lot on his swing during the summer, figured a few things out and now is reaping the rewards.
“In the game of golf,” Smith said, “you just need a little success for your confidence to skyrocket.”
Caron shot 1-under-par on the back nine, which Smith called the harder nine.
Palisade finished third with 236 strokes, led by Kyler Smith’s 74, and Skyler Miller was one stroke behind in eighth place.