BOULDER — Kelsey Webster was born and raised in a house just off the first tee at Boulder Country Club and still lives less than a minute away.
The course at Boulder C.C. has a hometown feel to the Knights senior and with the club hosting the Class 5A girls golf state championships, Webster certainly won't feel alone out there at any point while she makes a run at the title during this year's season finale.
Webster shot a 1-under 71 to finish in Day 1 of the two-day state tournament in second place on Monday. In position to win her first title on Tuesday's final day despite not playing her best round, Webster was at times overwhelmed by the support she received from the Fairview community and the Boulder C.C. membership.
Even as focused as she was on her singular goal, a crowd of up to 30 familiar faces following her as she passed signs reading "Go Kelsey" hanging from yard fences along the course was hard for Webster to ignore.
"It's definitely special to have it here for my senior year at state," Webster said. "I think there are advantages and disadvantages to having state at your hometown course. Of course, I've been playing it since I was 5 years old but it also brings on some extra pressure. Lots of people did come to see me today and it was great to be able to take a moment on the greens, look at everyone and be grateful for all the support. I'm really happy that it's here."
Regis Jesuit sophomore Katie Berrian leads all players at 2-under and behind Webster, Eaglecrest freshman Emma Bryant is currently third with a 73 on Day 1. After that, there is a four-way tie for fourth place at 75 between defending champion Amy Chitkoksoong from Grandview, last year's runner-up Jenna Chun from Highlands Ranch, Broomfield sophomore Meghan Vogt who tied for seventh place in 3A while playing for Holy Family last season, and Cherry Creek's Payton Canon.
With the field as tight as it is heading into the final round on Tuesday, Webster was happy to be in the running after a rough first day forced her to settle for a share of ninth place last season. She wasn't, however, happy with a handful of three-putts and less-than-ideal bunker shots that prevented her from scoring as low as she had hoped.
"It was definitely a better first day than last year," Webster said. "I think my expectations were higher than last year. I'm always happy shooting under par but I'm also super bummed because I know I left a ton of shots out there. I'm hitting it so well and playing so well at the moment that I'm in attack mode and I'm playing this course like every hole is birdie time. I made a few silly mistakes in my short game that really cost me. I need to be more committed on my short shots and be better with my putting tomorrow."
While Webster competes for her first individual title on Tuesday, the Broomfield Eagles will see how high their squad can place in their first time qualifying a team since moving up to 5A. They will be looking for Vogt to play well again after carding a 75 despite ending her round with a four-putt on No. 18 and for the rest of the team to follow suit.
"Meghan played outstanding golf even though she had a few slip-ups on a couple holes," Eagles coach Anthony Ferraro said. "She was tied for the lead at 2-under par for a while and that's a big deal for a sophomore. Our freshman Nicole Fatovic was out there at state for the first time and she played great. It was a great day for us all-around."
Colorado Class 5A girls golf state championships
At Boulder Country Club, par 72
Team scores — Regis Jesuit 240, Grandview 241, Cherry Creek 243, Fossil Ridge 249, Highlands Ranch 251, Arvada West 252, Rock Canyon 253, Ralston Valley 254, ThunderRidge 255, Broomfield 258, Columbine 261, Denver East 264, Arapahoe 271, Legend 278, Eaglecrest 284.
Top individuals — 1. Katie Berrian, Regis Jesuit, 70; 2. Kelsey Webster, Fairview, 71; 3. Emma Bryant, Eaglecrest, 73; t4. Amy Chitkoksoong, Grandview, 75; t4. Jenna Chun, Highlands Ranch, 75; t4. Meghan Vogt, Broomfield, 75; t4. Payton Canon, Cherry Creek, 75; t8. Brandy McClain, Rock Canyon, 77; t8. Morgan Ryan, Grandview, 77; t10. Brittlynn O'Dell, Grand Junction, 78; t10. Gabby Esquibel, Heritage, 78; t10. Leigha Devine, Fossil Ridge, 78.
Other Broomfield results — t41. Lauren Hirsch 90; t51. Anna Roh 93; 58. Nicole Fatovic 94.
Legacy results — t43. Mia Blackard 91.
Monarch results — 78. Yulim Kim 102.