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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Berthoud Golf caps season in Estes Park

Boys Golf Team Fails to Qualify for State

By Dan Karpiel
Sports Writer

The 3A Northern division Regional Golf Tournament began on a cool, windy Thursday morning at the Estes Park Golf Course. A small herd of Elk was kind enough to wait for the tournament to conclude before making their way onto the fifth fairway to munch on some foliage. The course, an 18 hole, par 71 measuring 6,321 yards from the men’s blue tees, is nestled in small valley on the southwest side of Estes Park where visits from Elk and Deer are part of the ambiance. It was here that the Berthoud Boys Golf Team played the final round of their season. Unfortunately, neither the team as a whole nor any of the four Spartan golfers would qualify for the state tournament being held at the Eaton Country Club October 4-5.

Aside from Nick Monchak, the Spartans only senior golfer, the other three varsity boys, as well as the underclassmen on the junior-varsity team, will work on improving their games over the off-season with the hope of competing for the state title next fall. “It’s all about the off-season,” Berthoud Golf Coach Mike King said after the tournament. “We can’t lay it down after today, we’ve got to practice, get lessons and when there’s snow on the ground we need to be watching The Golf Channel,” King added.

Senior Nick Monchak executes chip shot from behind the 8th green.

Senior Nick Monchak said that overall, he was pleased with his play both on Thursday as well as over the course of the season. Monchak described his play as “Okay,” but was disappointed that he “had left some strokes out there.” The senior golfer said, “I had some trouble reading the greens; my speed was good though.” Nick had several putts lip out of the cup during his round. Monchak, who played all four of his high school years on the varsity golf team, finished the day with a 17-over par 88, just a few strokes short of qualifying for state. Mike King, who also coaches the Berthoud Girls Golf Team each spring, said he couldn’t be more proud of Monchak. “He’s really taken on a leadership role with the younger players,” King said. “We’re really young this year… and he’s done a good job with them.”

Monchak’s teammate Luke Whitfield also shot a 17-over 88. Troy Johnson shot 51 on both the front and back nine for a composite score of 102 and Ty Patterson turned in a 108. The team score, with Patterson’s high score dropped, was 278. The Eaton Reds won the tournament and will represent the 3A Northern division in State with a team score of 221. The Reds were lead by junior Steve Babb who shot a very impressive 2-under 69; good enough for first place in individual competition.

Every athlete will say that they are constantly trying to improve their play. Every shot, every spike, every pass or tackle presents an opportunity to improve. Golfers are no different. After the tournament, Monchak said that he put in a lot of work this season improving his chipping and short game around the greens. The results were noticeable as Monchak executed several perfect chip shots Thursday morning. Of course, there are facets of his game where Monchak wants to put in more work “My driver and my approach shots” are the two he mentioned. Monchak only used his driver twice on Thursday, opting to go with his 3-iron on the majority of his tee shots. He will be attending college next fall but has not decided on a school. Regardless of which university he chooses to attend, he will surely be a regular at the local golf course.

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