Fruita, Montrose fare well on unfamiliar course in Vail
The host team benefitted from course familiarity Tuesday as Battle Mountain High School won the Battle Mountain Invitational boys golf tournament at the Vail Golf Club.
But the lack of familiarity didn’t sink Fruita Monument and Montrose, the teams that tied for third place in the 11-team field, or Rifle, which placed fifth. Fruita Monument and Montrose finished with 249 strokes, eight off the pace of Battle Mountain, and Aspen was second at 247. Rifle finished with 251 strokes.
“It was a very challenging course,” Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said. “We played it sight unseen. There were a lot of blind tee shots and elevated tee boxes.”
Montrose coach Angelo DeJulio and Rifle coach Jordan Smith echoed the sentiments as their players also played Vail Golf Club for the first time. Smith added the course was new to him, too, so he wasn’t much help advising his players.
Each team had at least one player finish in the top 10 individually, led by Fruita Monument’s Troy Dangler. The sophomore shot a 79 to tie for third place. Montrose’s Tyrus Lopez was a stroke back in fifth place, and teammate Zane Sauer tied for sixth at 81. Ty Caron led Rifle with an 82, tying for ninth.
“Troy hung in there and played better toward the end,” Fox said of Dangler.
Lopez, on the other hand, was in contention for the medalist honor until a rough finish.
“Tyrus is a great athlete, a great baseball player, and it’s his first year on varsity. He played well,” DeJulio said, adding Lopez is a senior. “He could have won it. The last three holes, he was four-over, and he lost by four strokes.”
Vail Christian’s Cooper Gould was the meet medalist with a 76, a stroke ahead of Battle Mountain’s Taylor Peel.
Wyatt Carter added an 83 for Rifle, and Brandon Speer carded Fruita Monument’s second-best score, an 84.