Golfers return home after road tournaments

— After nearly three weeks on the road, the Steamboat Springs High School golf team finally gets the chance to play at home.

"We are all really excited to have a tournament at home," player Michael Weston said. "We've been on the road all season, and we always look forward to the chance to play on our own course."

The Steamboat Sailors Invitational is scheduled to begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun start Wednesday morning. Fifteen schools will take part in the one-day tournament at Haymaker Golf Course.

"The timing is good for our tournament," Sailors golf coach Steve Dodson said. "The past couple of events I've felt that a breakthrough is upon us, and I'm hoping that it's going to come this week."

Dodson said the stress of packing into a car and traveling to tournaments around the state has taken a toll on the team this season. He hopes the idea of staying a little closer to home - the team will also travel to Craig to play in the Moffat County Invitational on Thursday - will inspire the team as it looks forward to the regional tournament in Cortez on Sept. 19.

"I think (being close to home) will be an advantage for us," Dodson said. "The Craig course is very similar to what we are going to see in Cortez, so I should be able to evaluate the players' performance and work on the things that we need to be successful at the regional tournament."

The Steamboat tournament will also offer the Sailors a chance to play in front of friends and family members.

"I would love to see some folks in Steamboat come out and support this team," Dodson said. "We play so many tournaments on the road, and I know these guys would love to find some support this week."

Parents and golfing fans are welcome to head to Haymaker and walk along the holes and cheer for the Steamboat players. Dodson said fans should follow the same etiquette as the players. Dodson said fans should feel free to offer encouragement, but not advice or coaching.

"It's always nice to have people out there supporting you," Weston said. "It just adds to the excitement."

The Sailors' regular season is quickly coming to a close. After this week, the team has only two tournaments remaining. In addition to the regional event in Cortez, Steamboat is scheduled to play in Rifle on Sept. 12.

- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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