LITTLETON — Perhaps the fastest-starting sport on the Colorado prep calendar, boys golf's season is already in full swing with a week left in August.
During Thursday's Class 3A Metro League match at Deer Creek Golf Course, plenty of BoCoPreps.com-area players got a better feel for where they stand to this point in the season, particularly in relation to where they'd like to end up when October rolls around.
Prospect Ridge Academy's state title-hungry junior Walker Franklin, for instance, learned he's right on track to be in the mix on the final day of the season.
In his first Colorado prep tournament of the fall after playing out of state for several weeks, the Miners' top player shot a 5-under 67 to take first place. What was truly remarkable about his first prep round in 2018 was that Franklin actually had legitimate reasons to be disappointed in his score.
"It's a good way to start the season, I guess," Franklin said. "I left a lot of shots out on the front though. Nine is a long par-4 and I hit a pretty good drive but then missed the green with a wedge, so that hurt. Then a couple holes before, I lipped out a 20-footer on the par-3. Before that, I left a 10-footer on the lip and on another par-3, I left a 12-footer on the lip. I mean, it happens. But it's tough to let those types of things get away from you."
Franklin, who finished one stroke ahead of Lutheran's Westin Pals, also made a 30-foot putt on the final hole, so he conceded that his seven-birdie round wasn't without its lucky moments. So far this season, Franklin said he has struggled with his ball-striking but has frequently bailed himself out with a short game that is way ahead of schedule.
Defending 3A state champion Peak to Peak looked to be on track as well in its first season under head coach Michael Ventimiglia. Senior Davis Long, the reigning individual champion in 3A, was disappointed at shooting a 76 and finishing in a tie for sixth. Teammate Suchit Sharma, however, was pleased with a 74 that helped the Pumas finish runners-up to Colorado Academy in the team scoring.
"Our number two, Suchit, I think he got serious about trying to catch Davis this season," Ventimiglia said. "He had a great tryout and he shot 74 today with a double on the last hole. So, both our one and two guys are looking really good but we don't want them to peek too early with a few weeks still before regionals. Our three and four have been solid and our five player shot an 83 today, so we're getting better."
Prospect Ridge finished fifth in the team scoring and Jefferson Academy was sixth.
3A Metro League Match
At Deer Creek G.C., par 72
Team scores — Colorado Academy 308, Peak to Peak 321, Lutheran 329, Kent Denver 335, Prospect Ridge 347, Jefferson Academy 381, Faith Christian 401, Skyview Academy 405, Denver Christian 417, .
Top individuals — 1. Walker Franklin, Prospect Ridge, 67; 2. Westin Pals, Lutheran, 68; 3. Brandon Cohen, Colorado Academy, 70; 4. Jackson Klutznick, Kent Denver, 72; 5. Suchit Sharma, Peak to Peak, 74; t6. Holden Zinn, Colorado Academy, 76; t6. Davis Long, Peak to Peak, 76; t8. Breck Ferrin, Front Range Christian, 78; t8. Parker Beasley, Colorado Academy, 78; 10. Christian Agelopoulos, Colorado Academy, 79.
Other Prospect Ridge results — t25. Caden Koole 88; t32. Tennyson Young 91; 35. Blake Hassler 92; 44. Nick Farel 97; t53. Jason Arbuckle 105.
Other Peak to Peak results — t15. William Mitchell 83; t17. Nick Korte 85; t19. Lucas Tartaglia 86.; t36. Adi Malhotra 93; 66. Maselli Desantis 113; 70. Brett Hogan 121.
Jefferson Academy results — t29. Montie Pons-Benedict 89; t38. Ethan Runyon 94; 43. Hunter Johnson 96; 49. Sam Boselli 102; t55. Samuel Langer 106; t58. Sebastian King 110.