After wind and rain battered Devil’s Thumb Golf Course in Delta, on Monday morning, the opening round of Colorado’s Class 3A State Golf Tournament was canceled.
The last-minute change did not faze Montezuma-Cortez High School’s two state qualifiers however, as senior Cristoffer Rudosky finished tied for fourth overall with a 1-over-par round of 73, and sophomore Blake Keetch finished 19th overall with a 5-over-par round of 77 on Oct. 3.
“Cristoffer and Blake both played well,” M-CHS head coach Micah Rudosky said. “For everybody, it was a cold-wet day. We couldn’t play the first day, which made it a one-day tournament, but all things considered, our results were solid.”
Playing for the final time in what has been a decorated high school career, Rudosky began the tournament on the course’s back-nine and parred the opening five holes before bogeying the par-4 15th. A birdie on the par-5 third hole brought Rudosky’s score to even par, and the senior subsequently closed out his round with four pars and a birdie.
“Cristoffer went out and played steady,” Micah Rudosky said. “He putted OK. He didn’t make anything, but he didn’t’ miss too many of the short putts. From about the 10- to 15-foot distance, he had four balls that horseshoed out of the hole. We were excited for him though. Taking fifth at state is great, and we’re proud of him.”
While Rudosky played through his steady round, Keetch began his day with a bogey on the 10th hole and birdies on the 11th and 13th holes. After a bogey on the 17th hole dropped Keetch back to even par, the sophomore birdied the 18th hole and made the turn at 1-under-par.
The sophomore quickly ran into trouble on the front nine however, when he found the rough on the par-four first hole and ended up with a bogey. Bogies on the second and third holes brought Keetch’s score 2-over-par for the round and three more bogies over the final six holes brought the sophomore’s final score to 5-over-par.
Despite Keetch’s difficult finish, Micah Rudosky had nothing but positive things to say about his up-and-coming star however, stating that Keetch has the potential to one day be a state champion.
“Blake got in the rough on his 10th hole and didn’t have the physical power, since he is a sophomore, to get through the grass,” Micah Rudosky said. “After that, he ended up with a bogey and then got on a bogey streak. Blake has a lot of talent though, and we works hard and loves the game. He was right in the tournament, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him a state champion in the next two years.”
Peak to Peak High School finished first as a team at the Class 3A Tournament, thanks in part to Davis Long, who won tournament’s individual title with a 3-under-par round of 69.
With the high school season now complete, M-CHS’ underclassmen will turn their attention toward offseason workouts, which have been a mainstay of the Panthers golf program in recent years.
“I’m proud of Cristoffer and Blake and the rest of our guys,” Rudosky said, when asked to assess his team’s season. They represented Montezuma-Cortez High School well throughout the year and at the state tournament.”