Nobody doubts that the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers’ golf team is stocked with high-end talent. To win fourth third consecutive Western Slope Regional Championship, however, the team’s role players will have to step up.
Competing in Montrose on Sept. 3-4, the Panthers enjoyed strong individual performances from their top two players, yet as a team, fell short.
Kicking off competition at Black Canyon Golf Club on Sept. 3, MCHS finished with a combined score of 229, which was good enough to finish third overall behind Montrose and Rifle.
Pacing the Panthers at Black Canyon was Jakob Rudosky, whose even-par round of 70 was good enough to place first overall in the tournament. The win was Rudosky’s second of the year and undoubtedly left the Dolores High School senior with high hopes for regionals and state.
Recording the second best score for the Panthers and placing sixth overall, Hayden Plewe shot a 76. Levi Gross followed with an 83 and Tristan Shelby rounded out the team’s varsity scoring with an 89.
Hoping to improve their team standing on Sept. 4, the Panthers traveled across town to the always-difficult course located at the Bridges Golf Club.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, things did not go as planned as the team finished fifth overall with a score of 249. Montrose finished first with a score of 233 while Durango, Rifle and Gunnison rounded out the top four respectively.
Leading the Panthers at the Bridges was Plewe, who fired a tournament-best round of 74. For Plewe, the tournament win marked his second of the season, which tied him with Rudosky for the team lead in tournament wins.
Following Plewe with a round of 78 was Rudosky, whose score placed him just outside the top 6 in the tournament.
Rounding out the scoring for the Panthers were Gross and Shelby, who each shot season-worst scores of 97.
“The course was playing fairly difficult,” said head coach, Micah Rudosky. “It had quite a bit of water on it and some high grass. It showed with the scores.”
“The boys are doing fine,” added Rudosky, assessing his team’s overall play. “We do need our (bottom) 3 guys to step up, though, and I think that they are going to do that. I like our chances at regionals. It’s going to be a tight year, though.”
Hoping to return to their winning ways, the Panthers close out the regular season with back to back tournaments in Durango on Sept. 9-10.