Fruita’s Grider battles back to post good round at state
Fruita Monument’s Ethan Grider began the Class 5A state golf tournament on Monday at Saddle Rock Golf Course in Aurora with a nightmare hole.
Grider’s first shot went into the hazard, and after it was all said and done, he ended up with a triple bogey.
But Grider rebounded nicely, eagling on the next hole, then chipping in for birdie on the next, all but erasing his first hole
Grider continued the consistent play, ending the day tied for fifth place with a 3-over-par 75.
“That was an amazing turnaround,” Fruita coach Dave Fox said. “He still had a good attitude after that first hole, but after the next two he got the feeling like he could do anything.”
Grider’s round has him five shots off of the lead. His tee-time today will reflect that as he will be in the second to last group to hit the course.
“He has developed a game plan on how he wants to attack the course,” Fox said. “He’s managing it really well.”
Grand Junction’s Mark Stern bogeyed five of his first six holes, but was able to salvage the round and finish at 9-over 81, tied for 43rd.
“(Monday) was such a frustrating day,” Stern said. “I tried to get it together mentally and make up some shots, but I only got one birdie.”
Stern said he is still hopeful to put together a good round today and finish in the top 20.
“That’s the good thing about state, it’s a two-day tournament,” Stern said. “I’m still in the middle of the pack, and there is no reason why I can’t fire off a good round and finish near the top.”
Montrose junior Drew Trujillo took the first-day lead at Highlands Ranch Golf Course in Littleton.
Trujillo shot an impressive 6-under-par 66 to gain a two-stroke lead over D’Evelyn’s Sam Phillips.
Brian Grubbs of Montezuma-Cortez and Kaelen Gunderson of Steamboat Springs were the only other Western Slope golfers to place in the top 20 in the first round; they each shot 75, good for a tie for 18th place.
With three golfers in the top nine, Valor Christian led the team race with a three-player total of 213, one stroke ahead of Rock Canyon. Montrose was tied for sixth at 227.
Grand Valley’s Dylan Walters shot a 92, leaving him in a tie for 12th place at Trinidad’s Cougar Canyon Golf Course.
Walters had the low round among the Western Slope golfers. Two Gunnison golfers, Josh Sawdo (93, tied for 14th) and Brandon Roedder (94, tied for 18th) are also in the top 20. Aspen’s Ryan Smith is tied with Roedder at 94.
Gunnison is in second placed in the team race at 282, but trails leader Holy Family by 24 shots.