Fruita’s Dangler wins Grand Valley Invitational

Fruita Monument junior Troy Dangler got the individual start and Grand Junction got the team start each wanted to begin the 2014 high school boys golf season.

Dangler fired a 4-under-par 68 at Battlement Mesa Golf Club to claim the medalist honor at Thursday’s Grand Valley Invitational.

Meanwhile, all five Grand Junction golfers shot 84 or better, including four who were 79 or lower, as the Tigers claimed the team title with 224 strokes, nine fewer than runner-up Steamboat Springs in the 20-team field.

Dangler said it was windy, but the tee boxes were placed closer, and “everything was kind of clicking for me.”

Dangler carded six birdies to more than offset two bogeys, and he thought his best shot of the day came on par-4 No. 18, his third-to-last hole because of the shotgun start. Dangler said the hole played dead into the wind, and he hit a 3-iron off the tee that left him 170 yards out. Then he hit his approach shot eight feet from the pin and sank his putt for birdie.

“From there, it was smooth sailing coming in,” said Dangler, a two-time Class 5A state qualifier who tied for seventh at the state meet one year ago.

Dangler had to be on his game to ward off Grand Junction sophomore Trevor Olkowski, who carded a 70 to finish second and lead the Tigers.

Grand Junction also got a 76 from Ben Volkmann, a 78 from Donny Kinnaman, a 79 from Greg Gibson and an 84 from Richie Wise.

Considering the wind and how seldom his players play Battlement Mesa, Tigers coach Tom Lefebre said, “To have five scores 84 or better is a great start.”

Lefebre also praised Volkmann for his 76, which was good for fourth place, saying he thinks that score “was a big confidence booster for him.”

Montrose finished third in the team standings at 236, led by Zane Sauer’s third-place round of 73.

Fruita Monument was fourth at 243, and Palisade was sixth at 253, led by Trevor Alberts, who shot 80.

Rifle tied for 10th, led by Jacob Smith’s 78, and Central was 13th, paced by Ben Basinski’s 83.


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