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Two Pirate golfers to compete at state tourney

Staff Writer

Two Pirate golfers are headed to the state tournament following regional action Tuesday at the Hollydot Golf Course in Colorado City.

The team finished seventh among 26 teams at the tournament, with two individuals finishing in the top 20 and advancing to the state tournament later this month.

Pagosa Springs finished behind Trinidad, Manitou Springs, Alamosa, The Classical Academy, Salida and St. Mary’s.

“They all worked hard at it,” coach Mark Faber said of the team members’ performances.

Jake Keuning was the top finisher for the Pirates on the day, shooting an 80 (nine over par) and placing fifth.

En route to that fifth-place finish, Keuning notched a birdie on two holes and par on eight holes.

Faber said Keuning was tied for the lead as late at the 16th hole at the tournament.

“He played really, really well,” Faber said.

The tournament’s top finisher finished five strokes over par, which was 71.

Finishing tied for 19th, Casey Mudroch is also off to state in a couple weeks, having shot an 88 (17 over par) on Tuesday, in what was his first taste of regional action.

Mudroch finished with par performances on six holes.

Also representing the Pirates were Jaylon Ochoa, who finished with a 104, and Taylor Heitz, who finished with a 108.

Ochoa finished tied for 52nd on the day, and Heitz finished tied for 58th.

The Colorado High School Athletics Association (CHSAA) ranked 90 golfers at the tournament.

Faber noted that Ochoa had a rough time on the first few holes, but battled through it, shooting a 61 on the first nine holes and a 43 on the second.

“I’m very proud of him,” Faber said. “It took a lot of strength to get through that.”

Hetiz, too, had a rough day, Faber said, and was unable to get in a groove, but also stayed with it.

Keuning and Mudroch will take part in the state tournament on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, which is being held this year at the Pueblo Country Club.

Supporters can follow the event’s live scores on CHSAA website, chsaa.org.

But, before state, the Pirates are taking part in a conference tournament Friday at the Rio Grande Club in South Fork.

The tournament will be between the league’s three teams — Pagosa, Alamosa and Monte Vista.

Five Pirates will take part in the tournament, including the four who attended the regional tournament and Bryce Jacquez.

“I’m real excited, they’ve worked really hard,” Faber said, adding the team has a good chance of doing well on the day.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m.

Note: Ochoa’s score from the Sept. 9 tournament at Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango was incorrectly reported last week. Ochoa scored an 88 on the day.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on September 19, 2013.