Brannon qualified for the state meet thanks to a string of low scoring rounds, most recently at the Regional event in Aspen earlier this week. Brannon finished in second place in the Western 3A Conference, and hopes to make Telluride proud by finishing on the leader board in Elizabeth next week.
The rest of Team THS also did well at the Regional tourney, with senior Walker Hollrah shooting his best nine-hole score of the year, an impressive 44. He was just one stroke away from joining teammate Brannon at the State meet, having landed in a three-man playoff for the alternate spot. A Cedaredge player drained an unlikely 15-foot-putt to claim the State tournament berth.
Freshman Mason "Flops" (he plays in his flip flops) Demist finished his season “striking the ball better than ever,” said THS golf coach Jonathan Young, and holed out a 30-yard chip for a birdie on his second-to-last hole. Meanwhile, junior Will Dupont had his best day on the course all year with two pars and a bogey in his round.
“We finished sixth out of 10 teams, and I think that is pretty good all things considered,” Young said, explaining that the majority of golfers Telluride competes against get much more time on the golf course. Telluride’s short season and course restrictions make it tough for the high school golf team to get in their groove by the time Regionals rolls around. Micah Rudosky of Cortez’s Conquistador Golf Course generously donated free tee times for the Telluride team, allowing them more practice time than would be possible at their home course alone. “Most of the kids we play against play between nine to 12 months a year and have access to walk nine or 18 holes whenever they practice,” Young said.
He also gave props to Tim Huett of Taylor Made Golf for donating a set of golf clubs for the THS Golf Team raffle, which helped fund the team’s recent trips to Steamboat and Aspen and Brannon’s upcoming trip to the State tournament.
And in other end-of-season THS golf news, junior Max Breman had earned a spot on the traveling team but opted to work on his AP school work and gave his position to Dupont. “I expect him to have a great senior year,” Young said.
Junior Jerry Mark continued steady improvement and was beaten by Dupont by only one stroke to make it onto Telluride’s traveling team. Newcomers Justin Tschinkel (junior) and Zac Kula (sophomore) showed continuous and steady improvement over the year, Young said. “We expect to have them in some tournaments in the next few years,” he added.
Freshman Riggs Franklin “can hit the ball well but has a hard time getting enough practice,” Young said, because he also plays soccer.
In regional high school golf news, the Montrose team won the team title for 4A and their coach, Angelo DeJulio, won the 4A coach of the year.