There may not have been a better day for the opening day of golf season for last week's Delta Panther Invitational at Devil's Thumb Golf Course in Delta.
A high sky, glazed with the smoke from numerous fires in the western United States, did not deter play allowing a successful start to the 2018 golf campaign for new Delta coach Jeff Reiher and his Panthers.
Though his Panthers were not the tournament winners, there was consistency in play from Delta's varsity team with a resulting fifth-place finish among 15 teams listed on the scoreboard.
Aspen's Skiers were the class of the field with a sizzling 203 for the team title and an 18-hole total of 65 from Aspen's Dominic Lanese to capture the medalist honors. In all, the Skiers landed four in the top five and all five were within the top 20 of individual players. Lanese carded a 65 for top medalist honors with Jack Pevny's card showing a 69 with teammates Colter Zwieg (69) and Dawson Holmes finishing his round with a 71 in fifth-place. Nic Pevny finished 16th with an 81.
For Delta, senior Rowyn Carmichael led a charge of three Panthers who completed play with scores of 82 to finish 17-19 on the day. Joining Carmichael with an 82 were Ryan Cooper and Atley Harris.
Coach Reiher shared some thoughts on Delta's first meet of the season. "I thought our home tournament went okay. Rowyn Carmichael and Ben Cooper did not shoot what they were capable of and finished with 82s. I think it was early-season jitters and getting into some trouble on just a couple of holes."
Going on, Reiher noted, "I was pleasantly surprised with Ryan Cooper who also carded an 82. I think it was his best tournament score so far in high school."
Early-season athletes often miss much of the fluidity of easing into a comfortable school routine with events that cause them to miss a couple of days a week for the first two weeks of school. An up-side to the early season is regional golf tournaments are on Sept. 17 and state competition is a week later noted Reiher, making golf one of the shortest seasons.
Cedaredge's Lucy Sachova, a Czechoslavakian exchange student, paced the Bruins play with a 92 last week. Other varsity players on Cedaredge's roster include Mason Smelser, Tristin Campbell, Aspen Furubotten and Ian Anderson.
Cedaredge's golf team is scheduled to participate in the same tournaments as Delta on Aug. 22 (Black Canyon), Aug. 23 (Cobble Creek) and Aug 28 (Rifle).