Generally speaking, the Montezuma Cortez High School golf travels several hours to compete in tournaments.
Each year, the Panthers are spared miles on the road when the team hosts the Cortez Invitational Golf Tournament at Conquistador Golf Course.
Taking place on Aug. 20, this year’s tournament featured several talented teams and some of the best players on the West Slope. Despite the tough competition, the Panthers faired well, finishing fourth overall behind Durango, Grand Junction and tournament winner Montrose.
Leading the way for the Panthers, senior Hayden Plewe further solidified his status as one of the state’s top golfers, finishing second overall 1-under-par score of 71.
The round could have been even better however, as Plewe missed several makeable putts during a round in which he struck several perfect drives and hit nearly every green in regulation.
“I left a lot of shots out there, but at the end of the day, I posted a score and that’s all I can ask,” said the senior. “I missed some putts that I normally make, so I’m just glad to finish under par today.”
Shooting the second-best score for M-CHS was senior Ryan Aiken, who, despite carding an 81, walked off the final green far from content.
“It was just one of those days,” said Aiken. “I hit a couple of bad shots.”
Other varsity scorers for the Panthers included freshman Cristoffer Rudosky, who shot an 82, senior Levi Gross, who fired an 83. and senior Tristan Shelby, who shot an 88.
“Cristoffer, for a freshman, I was really pleased with the way he was playing,” said Panthers assistant coach Todd Plewe.
As a team, the Panthers finished with a combined total of 234, which put them 13 shots behind Montrose. Grand Junction’s Trevor Olkanski finished first in the tournament with an individual score of 70.
“I think we need to work on our course management,” said Todd Plewe. “We have to get better at thinking our way around the golf course.”
The Panthers will next play two tournaments in Montrose on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.
“I see us shaving strokes,” said Hayden Plewe. A lot of times during rounds, we hit some shots we could easily take back. Once we get some consistency, we’ll be right up there.”