GOLDEN — Shooting an 84 on a tough course like The Club at Rolling Hills would be a blessing for most players in Colorado, but carding that score on Day 1 of the Class 5A girls golf state tournament caused Kelsey Webster to lose sleep.
The Fairview junior figured to be contending on Day 2, but her first-round score turned her expectation into a long shot. Though she felt like nothing was going her way after the first day, Webster didn't just check out of the state tournament and came back with purpose on Tuesday.
On a Day 2 that produced a number of high scores, Webster battled back and shot a 4-over 76 to vault from 15th place all the way up into the top 10. She finished the tournament in a four-way tie for ninth place at a two-day total of 160 and 16 over par.
"I finished the round out well," Webster said. "I went into the tournament really optimistic. I wanted to place well and I felt like I could win it. But I was battling myself all day yesterday so I just came out today with the attitude that I had nothing to lose. I'm still a little disappointed but I'm glad that I was able to come back and finish strong."
Birdying the par-4 fifth, Webster was even through the first six holes and finished the front nine at three over par. Despite another birdie on No. 15, she picked up three more strokes from Nos. 10-17 before she went for a strong finish on the final hole.
On the par-5 18th hole, Webster hit a long drive and then a 180-yard uphill shot with her hybrid that left her with a straight four-foot putt, which she sank to end the season with an eagle.
Tying with Webster, Monarch's Carly Gallant also placed ninth. The Coyotes senior followed up Monday's 78, which left her tied for fifth place and three strokes back of the leader to start the second round, with a 10-over 82 on Tuesday. She had an up-and-down day, exemplified by her shooting birdie, double-bogey, par, bogey, birdie through her first five holes.
With Gallant landing in the top 10, the Coyotes finished 10th in the team scoring. Gabrielle Ferro and Linna Neitenbach tied for 56th place with matching two-day scores of 191. Emma Teuton finished in a tie for 59th with a 49-over 193.
"I gave myself a chance," Gallant said. "I didn't have my A-game today, so that was kind of hard. I had to battle and fight, and I had a couple birdies that got me back into it. Sometimes you've just got to fight and play with what you have. Finishing in the top 10 was kind of what I was thinking coming in, so it's a good end. With my team in the top 10 and myself individually is all I can ask for in my final competitive tournament."
Tied with Teuton, Broomfield's Lauren Hirsch also finished at 49-over.
Loveland nabs top two spots, team title in 4A
There wasn't a whole lot of drama as to which team was going to win the Class 4A state championship — Loveland held an 18 stroke lead heading into the second day of play.
But which Indian player would win the individual crown was still very much up in the air until the end.
When the dust settled at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Loveland's Lauren Lehigh held on to her first round lead and held off her hard charging teammate Aili Bundy to win by one stroke despite going seven over par. Bundy, who fired a three-over par 75 on Day 2, finished tied with Lauren Murphy of Glenwood Springs.
Locally, Skyline's Grace Gunlikson had a consistent state tournament, shooting 91 both days to finish in a tie for 24th. Gunlikson was able to par four holes on Day 2 to be the top local finisher.
Frederick junior Erin Baum had the best Day 1 score of the local golfers, but couldn't sustain that pace. After finishing Day 1 with a 17-over-par 89, Baum fired a 100 to finish tied for 34th.
Class 5A girls golf state championships
At The Club at Rolling Hills, par 72
Team scores — Ralston Valley 474, Rock Canyon 483, Grandview 499, Arvada West 501, Fossil Ridge 501, Denver East 510, Highlands Ranch 510, Regis Jesuit 514, Cherry Creek 522, Monarch 531, Arapahoe 551, Legend 564, ThunderRidge 571, Cherokee Trail 573.
Top individuals — 1. Amy Chitkoksoong, Grandview, 78-76-154 (won playoff); 2. Jenna Chun, Highlands Ranch, 83-71-154; 3. Amelia Lee, Rock Canyon, 75-80-155; t4. Jordan Remley, Ralston Valley, 82-74-156; t4. Julia Baroth, 76-80-156; t6. Arielle Keating, Rampart, 77-80-157; t6. Payton Canon, 76-81-157; 8. Lexi Mueldener, Ralston Valley, 81-77-158; t9. Kelsey Webster, Fairview, 84-76-160; t9. Sydney Eye, Ralston Valley, 82-78-160; t9. Leigha Devine, Fossil Ridge, 84-76-160; t9. Carly Gallant, Monarch, 78-82-160.
Other Monarch results — t56. Gabrielle Ferro, 91-100-191; t56. Liina Neitenbach, 93-98-191; t59. Emma Teuton, 104-89-193.
Other Fairview results — 81. Sophie Nelson, 119-113-232.
Broomfield results — t59. Lauren Hirsch, 102-91-193; t64. Anna Roh, 95-102-197.
Legacy results — t69. Izzy Hebert, 98-102-200.
Class 4A girls golf state championship
At Colorado National Golf Club, par 72
Team scores — Loveland 475, Windsor 502, Golden 517, Glenwood Springs 517, Vista Peak 554, Pine Creek 556, Evergreen 557, Palmer Ridge 560, Valor Christian 568, Northridge 577, Montrose 578, Cheyenne Mountain 588, Liberty 603, Coronado 614, Air Academy 624, Ponderosa 563, Pueblo West 656, Frederick 680.
Top individuals — 1. Lauren Lehigh, Loveland 73-79-152; t2. Aili Bundy, Loveland, 78-75-153; t2. Lauren Murphy, Glenwood Springs, 75-78-153; 4. Jessica Zapf, Windsor, 77-77-154; 5. Sydney Prey, Golden, 75-83-158.
Frederick results — t34. Erin Baum, 89-100-189; Payton Wallace, 117-117-234; Cassie Palmer, 133-124-257.
Skyline results — t24. Grace Gunlikson, 91-91-182; 67. Lexi Ekern, 127-103-230.