Two-time defending state champion Montrose High School looked like a collegiate men’s golf team Thursday rather than a high school varsity squad. Durango High School didn’t look too shabby, either, especially when Luke Ford scored a hole-in-one.
The host Indians shot 5-under-par as a team to win the Cobble Creek Invitational. Standout Micah Stangebye was the medalist with a 5-under round of 67, as he recorded eight birdies and three bogeys with a pair of birdies to close out the round. He was backed up by a 3-under 69 from Jordan Jennings, who opened with a birdie and recorded an eagle on the par-5 No. 13 to get as low as 6-under before he finished the round with three consecutive bogeys. Ryan Lords completed the host team’s varsity score with a 3-over 75.
Durango finished second as a team a day after winning at Black Canyon Golf Course. The Demons shot 7-over.
Durango’s Levi Tichi finished third with a 1-over 73. A birdie on No. 2, a 495-yard par-5, had him briefly in red numbers, but he gave a shot back on the par-3 No. 3. He remained even par through eight holes and was at 2-over through 13, but a birdie on the 401-yard par-4 No. 3 and another on the 487-yard par-5 No. 16 helped him get back to even par. A bogey on No. 18 put him at 1-over.
Luke Ford of Durango tied for fourth at 2-over 74. He opened his day with a birdie on No. 2 but went to 1-over with a double bogey on the third. He was at 4-over through seven holes, but birdies on Nos. 8 and 13 had him back to 2-over. He had a bogey on No. 15, but a hole-in-one on the 171-yard par-3 No. 17 got him to 1-over.
“The hole is pretty flat. There’s a pond on the right, a bunker short and a bunker left,” Ford said of No. 17. “I hit a nice little 8-iron. My ball flight is lower in general. I landed it about five yards short, it took a bounce or two and went in.”
Ford used a TaylorMade iron and a TaylorMade TP5x ball with a No. 3 on it for his ace. A bogey on No. 18 and a par on No. 1 ended his round, but nothing could take away from his special swing on 17. The ball is now sitting on his desk waiting to be put into a special case.
“I really didn’t know what to do with myself,” Ford said. “I was more focused on finding a good way to celebrate. The guys I was paired with, they started going crazy, and then I went crazy. Levi Tichi was in the group behind me on the 16th green, which was next to our tee box. Coack Kirk (Rawles) was with Levi. They didn’t see the shot, but they saw the reaction and joined in the celebration, and that was great. It was even more exciting that it came at the Montrose tournament.”
The Demons’ team score was completed by Ethan Whidden, who shot a 4-over 76 a day after he tied for first at Black Canyon Golf Course. Whidden had three birdies and scored an eagle on the 581-yard par-5 No. 6. But his round also included a double bogey, triple bogey and four bogeys.
Also for Durango, Anthony Flint and Luke Tichi each shot an 80 in their second tournament of the season. Michael Marquez also shot 80 in a big group that tied for 17th. That round was five strokes better than his score Wednesday. Sten Joyner added an 82 to tie for 27th, and Levi Larson shot 85 to tie for 40th.
There was a big field of 104 players Thursday. Fruita Monument finished third as a team at 12-over, led by a 2-over round from Kade Hayward.
Next up for the Demons is a trip to Grand Junction next week for two more tournaments. Monday’s round is at Bookcliff Country Club, and Tuesday’s round will be held at Tiara Rado Golf Course.
Durango will host a tournament Sept. 9 at Hillcrest Golf Club and Sept. 10 at Dalton Ranch Golf Club.