GRAND JUNCTION - Fairview senior Daniel Pearson said Bookcliff Country Club's par 71 course wasn't that difficult, but the scores say otherwise.
Sure, Bookcliff doesn't look like a challenging course, but the fast speed and slope of the greens caught a lot of golfers at the Class 5A boys golf state tournament off guard and derailed high expectations for top finishes on Tuesday.
"We improved from yesterday, but not enough," Fairview coach Jay Capaul said. "It was a tough two days and we had higher expectations that we didn't meet."
He added: "But any time you can bring a team to state, you've had a good season. Winning our regional was a high point and we hoped it would catapult us to a higher finish at state. We hoped for top five."
The Knights finished 8th overall, and Pearson shot a 2-under-par 69. He finished at an even 142 overall, tied with Lakewood's Griffin Barela. Pearson had seven birdies and bogies apiece in the tournament.
Andrew Perry ended the tournament tied for 56th (162), Will Branan placed 59th (163) and Miles Murphy was last of the Knights' crew, tied for 75th place (171).
Pearson, who improved from the 73 he shot during the first round on Monday, said, "we struggled with the fast greens."
Even though the three Knights seniors are moving on, Branan will be back next year and the probable team captain, and has much to offer.
"I actually thought I putted pretty well, I just couldn't hit the ball," Branan said. "But I gained a lot of experience and knowledge for last year. I'll be better prepared for the tournament next year and not play as bad as I did here. Definitely not my best."
Boulder coach Rick Uhlir agreed the greens jammed up his only player at the tournament, junior Freddie Gluck, who finished in the top 30 by shooting a 6-over in round two.
"The course had some very challenging greens and he didn't putt very well and had an off weekend on his swing," Uhlir said. "It wasn't his best couple days. He had a great year, but there were very few times this weekend where he put three shots together."
He added: "And the guy who won (Highlands Ranch senior Kyle Pearson), who shot a 9-under overall is an absolutely phenomenon. He had a groove."
Kyle Pearson also scored a hole-in-one on hole No. 15 - something he teammate Jackson Crist had done on the same exact hole at an earlier practice round on Saturday.
Monarch's Danny Gallant and Ethan Alexander both played better on this first day. Gallant ended the second round tied for 24th and Alexander tied for 37th.
Class 5A state tournament, Final
At Bookcliff Country Club, Grand Junction
Team scores — Regis Jesuit, 436; Highlands Ranch, 437; Lakewood, 449; Fossil Ridge, 450; Rock Canyon, 453; Cherry Creek, 458; Arapahoe, 465; Fairview, 467; Fruita, 473; Mountain Range, 482; Heritage, 484; Chaparral, 506.
Top individuals — 1. K. Pearson, Highlands Ranch, (66-67) 133; 2. Bryant, Eaglecrest (66-73) 139; 3. Caldwell, Rock Canyon (65-75) 140; T4. D. Pearson, Fairview (73-69) 142; T4. Barela, Lakewood (71-71) 142; T6. Anderson, Regis Jesuit (74-70) 144; T6. McCoy, Regis Jesuit (73-71) 144; T6. Roberts, Palmer (73-71) 144; T9. Olkowski, Grand Junction (74-71) 145; T9. Rundiks, Denver East (73-72) 145; T9. Caridi, Fossil Ridge (73-72) 145.
Other local results — T24. Gallant, Monarch (75-78) 153; T29. Gluck, Boulder (77-77) 154; T37. Alexander, Monarch (76-80) 156; T56. Perry, Fairview (80-82) 162; 59. Branan, Fairview (81-82) 163; .T75. Murphy, Fairview (84-87) 171.