The Summit High School golf team’s 2022-23 season came to a close at the 4A regional golf tournament in Eagle.
After a majority of the team saw widespread growth throughout the season, the young golf program fell short of its goal of qualifying the team or any of its individual members for the 4A state golf tournament.
The Tigers traveled to Eagle Ranch Golf Club on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to compete against 20 other teams from Region 4.
To qualify for the state tournament, Summit either had to place within the top two teams or have an individual golfer place in the top 13.
At last year’s 4A Region 4 golf tournament, Summit qualified two golfers for the state tournament after Ricky Ahlquist placed seventh with a score of 79 and Ranger Stone placed 10th with a score of 81.
This year’s tournament was slightly more competitive than last year. It took a score of 77 to punch a ticket to state.
The team’s top individual on Tuesday was senior Rece Greff, who recorded a score of 78 in order to tie for 17th place.
Greff concludes his senior season with plenty to be proud of. He was able to bring down his 18-hole personal best to a 78 at the Moffat County High School Bulldog Open on Sept. 12. In the tournaments that followed, Greff continued to shoot around his best mark.
“I thought this season overall was pretty solid,” Greff said. “I had some pretty good scores, but I do wish I was able to perform better with the pressure I had at some of the tournaments. At the end of the day, I had a chance to make our regional team, which at the start of the season was a fear of mine.”
Following Greff at regionals was sophomore Tyler Short, who shot a score of 80 to tie for 29th place. Sophomore Jace Melby and Max Kunzek each earned a score of 84 to tie for 41st place.
The Tigers ended up five spots behind where the team placed in 2021. The team placed 10th out of 20 teams with a score of 242.
“Our performances were fairly good,” Greff said. “Most of us had a really good day, having some of the best scores of the season, but the competition was really, really difficult. The competition was much better than we thought it would be.”
I had a feeling it was going to take a better score than normal, but I had no idea it would take a 77 to get in,” head coach Ryne Scholl said. “Historically 84 has been good enough for players to qualify for the state tournament. To have all four players shoot 84 and lower and have nobody make it is disappointing but also exciting.”
Despite failing to advance to the state tournament, the Summit golf program has plenty to look forward to in the seasons to come. The Tigers will only graduate Greff from the varsity roster and will return a strong core of juniors and seniors next season.
Summit will also have several junior varsity players who will look to make the varsity roster next season after they helped win the Western Slope Junior Varsity Championships on Friday, Sept. 16.
The junior varsity Tigers placed first by 7 points, combining for 218 points to beat Fruita Monument High School at the Chipeta Golf Course near Grand Junction.
Freshman Colton Jones tied for first at the junior varsity championships after he shot a 68 over the nine-hole course. Freshman Ryan Lankhorst placed eighth, and freshman Jacob Knight tied for 11th.
“I think in the coming years we are going to have a really good team with the freshman coming up and the junior (Professional Golfers’ Association) program getting kids into golf more and more,” Melby said. “Hopefully, in the coming years, we can have a girls team and get them in some tournaments as well.”
“I am most excited about the consistency of our team moving forward,” Scholl said. “The group is motivated after falling short this year, and I think the internal competition will continue to prepare us for tournament success.”