BROOMFIELD — Assessing the remaining fairway after a beautiful drive on the par-5 15th at Broadlands Golf Course on Monday, Erie's Caleb Humble used what little time he was afforded to contemplate how he wanted to finish the regular season.
Humble could lay up and try to get up and down for birdie, playing it safe as his surname would suggest, or attempt to finish the final Tri-Valley League tournament with a flurry. The Tigers junior considered, reconsidered, and reconsidered again. Finally, he decided.
Flurry it is.
Confidently, Humble grabbed his hybrid 23 and blasted a long shot that settled on the green. After betting on his long game and winning, Humble's first eagle putt of the season, though unfamiliar at address, felt oddly trivial, almost like a formality. One bold swing and a strong putt were the personal triumphs that Humble needed to card an 8-over 80, tying him for eighth place and sending him home to Erie with his first top-10 finish of the season.
"That type of finish means that he's been in an upward trend for the last few weeks and that's what you want to see in the final weeks of the season," Erie head coach Matt Smith said. "His shot selection has been great lately. He's been playing some of his best golf when it matters and it showed today."
Humble has been to the Class 4A state tournament before, so he's no rookie. With the 4A Region 3 tournament scheduled for next Monday at Boomerang Golf Course in Greeley, the other Tigers are playing the type of golf in early September that won't make Humble's expected return appearance to state a lonely one.
Erie sophomore and No. 1 player Kellen Kudrna shot an 82 and finished in a tie for 12th at the Tigers' final league tournament. He wasn't thrilled with the result. But being that it was Kudrna's worst score of the season, Smith couldn't help but feel optimistic about the team's potential.
"He's been consistently below 80 all year, so I feel like he's got a good shot at state," Smith said. "Even when he's not feeling his best and his swing isn't where he wants it to be, he's still good enough to be able to grind out rounds and finish with low scores."
Erie senior Logan Hawkins, who recently joined the United States Army and finished boot camp this summer, shot an 84. Senior Casey Blount shot an 87.
Holy Family's Garrett Green tied for 12th place with a 10-over 82 score. Teammate Colton Clingman was right behind Green at 11-over, finishing 14th overall.
Skyline's Michael Silbernagel tied Hawkins for 15th place.
Tri-Valley League Tournament 6
At Broadlands G.C., par-72
Team scores — Windsor 224, Sterling 229, Berthoud 235, Roosevelt 238, Erie 239, Holy Family 243, Frederick 269, Skyline 286.
Top individuals — 1. Cole Krantz, Windsor, 73; 2. Tyler Severin, Salton Valley, 74; t3. Jack Hummel, Brighton, 77; t3. Brayden Lambrecht, Sterling, 77; t5. Josh Grasmick, Windsor, 78; t5. Wade Kellogg, Sterling, 78; 7. Josh Schumaker, Brighton, 79; t8. Caleb Humble, Erie, 80; t8. Sutton Hermann, Windsor, 80; t8. Bryson Courrejou, Ralston Valley, 80..
Other Erie results — t12. Kellen Kudrna 82; t15. Logan Hawkins 84; t22. Casey Blount 87; t29. Leyton Julius 91; t34. William Warner 94; t42. Steven Hauptaman 96; t45. Kyle Couper 97; t50. Mateo Montelongo 99; 57. Houston Irwin 102.
Holy Family results — t12. Garrett Green 82; 14. Colton Clingman 83; t18. Hunter Hill 85; t22. Alex Mumm 87; t26. David Langfield 90; t29. Zach Canaday 91; t34. David Hanuszczak 94; t37. Joe Nelson 95; t37. Jack Nelson 95; t. 45. Josh Kusbel 97; t47. Leo Nelson 98; t50. Luke Heneghan 99; t54. Ben Neill 101; t54. AJ Perez 101; 58. Phil Neill 103; 63. Diego Montoya 109.
Skyline results — tt15. Michael Silbernagel 84; t50. Alex Hernandez 99; 64. Cade Pyle 110; 65. Carson Block 111; 66. Banks Dakin 112; 68. Josh Pene 121.
Frederick results — t. 26. Nick Formby 90; t32. Jake Frenzel 93; t32. Colton Gabbard 93; 53. Cade Ridenour 100; t59. Seth Cumley 104; 62. Davis Richard 105; 69. David Smith-Tomasson 127; 70. Bayley West 130.