BROOMFIELD — The regional tournament is typically known as the toughest round of the high school season. On Tuesday at Broadlands Golf Course it was one of the most unusual.
Broomfield golfers Taylor Dorans and Alex Briggs ended up having to face each other on a playoff hole at the Northern Regional Championship, but not to see which Eagle made the state tournament. Instead, the hole decided who would claim the regional title.
Dorans wasted little time in breaking the stalemate between the teammates, each of whom had shot 5-over at the par-72 course. The junior sunk a 6-foot putt on the 10th hole — the first playoff hole — to collect her second birdie of the day and dethrone Briggs as the defending regional titleholder.
“They’re such good friends, I’m glad it took something like a birdie to win,” Broomfield coach John Ferraro said. “It was fun to watch.”
It was fun and heartening for Broomfield because the pair not only duked it out for the individual championship, but also led their team to one.
The Eagles walked away with their second-consecutive regional title by 16 strokes and qualified an entire foursome to state, finishing with a season-best 235 three-player score. Rounding out the team’s afternoon were Danielle Dorans (81) and Samantha Bartle (95). Now Broomfield can focus on what it’s sharpened its drives, chips and putts for all season — a state championship.
The team missed knocking down the Class 4A team title last year by only two strokes. And it has only gotten hungrier from the missed opportunity. The Eagles still have their work cut out for them with Pueblo South returning all of its players from its 2011 state championship team.
“We’re pretty happy with our game right now,” said Taylor Dorans, who finished tie sixth at state last season. “We just need to work hard the next two weeks and see how everything goes.”
Centaurus was the only other local team in attendance and got one golfer past the state-qualifying cut of 86. Halle Peterson finished with an 81 with her game having come on in recent weeks. Centaurus coach Jeff Jackson pointed out the senior has been able to dedicate herself to golf more recently. Much of the season, the coach said, she split time between the fairways and the track.
“She’s only been on the golf course about half the time, but I think she’s getting a feel for it now,” Jackson said. “We’re excited about state for her. I think she can break 80; and if she can do that for a couple of rounds she could finish her golf career in grand fashion.”
The scores might have been frightfully low at the Broadlands, but the course earned little love from the Eagles golfers.
Taylor Dorans started her day well enough, hitting a birdie, but from there her round went up and down. Part of it was the general nerves of regionals.
“But I’m also not completely comfortable with this golf course,” she said. “We just don’t play her as much as Eagle (Trace Golf Course) and in between the holes is longer.”
Briggs had the same take on the course, but the senior came into her own at it. She started bumpy, but found her touch after the turn, shooting even par on the back nine.
“I think I started trusting my putts more, because that’s what got me on the front,” Briggs said. “And I was a lot less nervous, because there is not as much trouble on the back.”
Northern Regional Tournament
At Broadlands G.C., par 72
Team scores — Broomfield 235, Greely Unified 251, Estes Park 259, Thompson Valley 272, Fort Morgan 277, Mt. View 286, Windsor 295, Yuma 303, Centaurus 315, Berthoud 353, Holyoke 356, Roosevelt 393.
Top individuals — 1. Taylor Dorans, Broomfield, 77*; 2. Alex Briggs, Broomfield, 77; 3. Ellie Sick, Greeley Unified, 78; 4. Kelsey Greiner, Mt. View, 79; 5. Lauren Micklson, Thompson Valley, 80; 6. Danielle Dorans, Broomfield, 81; 6. Halle Peterson, Centaurus, 81; 8. Brandi Peters, Berthoud, 83; 9. Jesse O’Dell, Estes Park, 85; 9. Hannah Hockley, Greeley Unified, 85; 11. Alli Smith, Estes Park, 86*; 11. Halay Patterson, Yuma, 86; 12. Kaitlyn Mobley, Fort Morgan, 87.
Other Broomfield results — Samantha Bartle, 95.
Other Centaurus results — Mkaela Whitaker, 114; Katy Johnson, 120; Casey Vischer, 133.
Follow Elwood K. Shelton on Twitter: @elwoodkshelton