The Durango High School boys golf team started its season with a pair of tournaments in Montrose this week.
The Demons played at the Black Canyon Golf Club on Wednesday and then at the Cobble Creek Golf Club Thursday, placing 11th in the team competition both days.
“There were some bright spots,” said DHS head coach Kirk Rawles. “One of the highlights was freshman Owen Mururo playing in his first high school events. I thought he did great coming out of the gate.”
Muraro led the Demons on Wednesday at Black Canyon. He was even par after four holes and shot a 37 on the front nine. He finished the day with a career low round of 84.
“I was impressed with him being able to do that,” Rawles said.
Durango sophomore Eli Holden had two birdies and shot an 85. Junior Nicholas Best shot an 88, with one birdie, to round at Durango’s team score of 257.
Senior Anthony Flint, who qualified for state last year, shot a 93, and junior Leland Longan shot a 98.
“Flint kind of struggled the the first two outings,” Rawles said. “I think it’s just getting back in the golf mindset and putting in some time.”
The coach added that the season came on pretty quick - beginning practicing one week and competing the next. “I think (these tournaments were) a reminder to the guys that we need to get up to speed and put in the mileage again.”
Montrose bested the 16-team field Wednesday with a 223 to score the team title, led by individual champion Noah Richmond, who shot a 69.
The next day at the Cobble Creek, Durango shot a 267 to tie Rifle for 11th place out of 18 squads.
Best shot an 86 to lead the Demons. Muraro shot an 89, Holden shot a 92, Flint shot a 93, and Longan shot a 130. Holden had the team’s lone birdie on a par-5 hole.
“We have a pretty young team and they haven’t played a lot of tournaments,” Rawles said. “It was good to get going and see what we need to work on. We’ll build each week and be ready to go by regionals; that’s the one day that really counts.”
Montezuma-Cortez’s Thayer Plewe won the individual title at Cobble Creek, leading the Panthers to a third-place finish. Plewe sunk five birdies and only had one bogie to finish with a 68 and win the crown.
Vince Lopez shot an 81 for the Panthers, Kaden Huff shot an 82, Ryan Sanders shot an 84 and Airoughn VanGrandt shot a 108.
Montezuma-Cortez shot a 231 to place third, three shots behind Steamboat Springs and seven behind Montrose.
Durango was originally scheduled to play in Grand Junction Monday, but Rawles said he’ll add some different tournaments later instead and spend the next week practicing and competing against each other.
“Given our numbers, we can create our own competition,” Rawles said, noting that the team has 43 golfers out this fall.
One notable absence, however, is Luke Tichi. Tichi was one of Durango’s leaders the last couple seasons, but moved to Florida before his senior season.