Good Start for the FVS Golfers in Florence
September 2, 2012Fountain Valley School
On Monday, Aug. 27, the Fountain Valley School golf team participated in the first of three Tri-Peaks League tournaments at the Sumo Village Golf course outside of Florence. The tournament was hosted by Florence High School and featured the 14 Tri-Peaks league squads combined with another 12 invited schools. Needless to say, it was a very strong and crowded field.
Summer conditions reigned as the still and cloudless sky and temperatures hovering around 90 degrees created a unique challenge for the golfers as they meandered around the high desert course surrounded by chamisa, cactus and coulees. Sumo has some notoriety in being a Gary Player Signature course, but it is often criticized for its haphazard layout that results in extensive walks between holes and slow play. Nevertheless, Sumo provides a stern test for golfers as wayward shots nearly always land out of bounds, in a hazard, or nestled deep within a chamisa bush.
The FVS team entered the season with a strong mix of experience, with three of the top four golfers earning varsity letters in 2011. Senior Trevor Shott entered the season as a 2011 state qualifier, with Chris Peel ’14, and Adam Newell ’14 rounding out the experienced contingent. Matthew Presti ’15 is a welcome addition to the team and will battle for a permanent position on varsity with able newcomer Duke MacMillan ’16.
As has been the tradition with the FVS golf program, the late start to the season compared with the local public schools placed the Danes at a noticeable disadvantage heading into tournament play. Most of the competitors who played in the event had at least two or three tournaments under their belts while the FVS squad hadn’t even had a full week of practice. To their credit, the Danes came out of the gate with a high level of desire and confidence.
Presti was particularly strong from the start, playing bogey golf through the first three holes, including a great chip in par on the ninth hole. Although he is not a long hitter, Presti is adept at keeping the ball in play and is an excellent putter. The high temperatures and slow play seemed to get the best of him as the day wore on and he completed his first competitive round with a 53-55/108.
Adam Newell, playing at the No. 3 position, has improved his strength and skill a great deal over the course of the summer and is primed to make considerable gains as a competitive golfer. He continues to work on shot consistency, course management and being able to maintain a positive approach when things go awry. His 53-49/102 was a disappointment for him as he strives to break the 100 barrier, but there is little question that he will be able to achieve that goal at the next tournament.
Chris Peel, playing at No. 2, had an up and down day as he played relatively consistent bogey golf only to falter with several triple and quadruple bogeys thrown in the mix. Peel has the ability to compete for a state position, and some subtle swing improvements should provide the impetus for making a stronger tournament showing. His 49-50/99 placed him in the top 30, but he certainly has the ability to break 90 at the next tournament.
Trevor Shott, playing at No. 1, got off to a very slow start, going seven over in his first four holes. Some minor adjustments got him back on track and he played the remaining 14 holes in nine over par, finishing at 47-41/88 for a 13th-place finish. Shott is a quick learner and strong competitor, so coach Mark Dillon sees him competing hard for a top 10 finish in the league race. The next tournament round at Hollydot should provide him a great opportunity to move up in the standings.
Overall, although the team was dissatisfied with the team total of 289, the score was good enough to place them squarely in the middle of the Tri-Peaks standings. The top teams of Trinidad, Florence and Manitou Springs are well ahead of the pack, but the next nine teams are all within 20 strokes of each other.
The second leg of the Tri-Peaks League tournament trifecta will be held Friday, Aug. 31, at Hollydot Golf Course in Rye, Colo.