Fruita wins second prep golf tourney of season
Three Fruita Monument High School players placed in the top six as the Wildcats won the 15-team Indian Invitational on Wednesday by one stroke over host Montrose High School at The Bridges Golf & Country Club.
Montrose had the meet medalist in Cole Brennecke, who fired a 72 — including a hole in one on No. 12 — to win by one stroke over Jakob Radosky of Cortez.
The trio of Wildcats were in the pack that followed. Fruita senior Hunter Emerson shot a 74 to tie Grand Junction High’s Donny Kinnaman for fourth place. Wildcat senior Will Berg followed with a 76 for fifth, and freshman Troy Dangler shot a 77 to tie for sixth.
The Wildcats’ victory is the second in the three large tournaments they opened the season playing. The Wildcats placed second in the other one: Monday’s 18-team Tiger Invitational at Bookcliff County Club.
Emerson’s hot start to the season — he finished second at the Grand Valley Invitational with a 72 last week — was labeled “kind of a big surprise” by his coach, Dave Fox.
“He’s capable of some low scores but hadn’t really put it together in the summer,” Fox said.
The only nonsenior on Fruita’s varsity team is Dangler but his rebound from a bad start Monday showed some veteran resolve.
Fox said Dangler opened play on No. 16 in the shotgun-start format and was 5-over-par after three holes. Then came No. 1, and he “settled down and put together a streak of par, birdie, par, birdie on the first four holes on the front,” Fox said. Dangler shot 33 on the front nine. His resumption of the back nine was a little better than the ominous start, and he finished it with a 44.
Holding off Montrose was no easy feat for the Wildcats, as all five of the Indians shot under 80. Montrose also got a strong showing from its junior varsity team, which placed sixth.