LONGMONT — With regional and state tournaments approaching quickly, it’s ideal for a high school golfer to be peaking at the end of summer and beginning of fall.
In other words, right about now.
In that sense, Monday’s Longmont Invitational was a case of “mission accomplished” for Boulder freshman Alec Poorman and Alexander Dawson senior Carson Jones.
On a day when only 10 of 112 players broke 80 at The Fox Hill Club, Poorman shared the individual title — his first as a high school golfer — with a 4-over-par 74. And Jones, who won this tournament last year, tied for fourth this time around at 76.
“This feels really good, especially playing this course today,” said Poorman, who tied for the top spot with Standley Lake’s Eli MacKay. “I’ve played here about four times in different tournaments and struggled. Finally I played really well today.”
In one of the largest invitationals in the state, Boulder shot a 235 and took second place out of 28 teams, one stroke behind champion Fossil Ridge. Alexander Dawson, the third-place finisher in the 3A state tournament each of the last two years, used the 76 by Jones and a 79 by Cam Connor to place third on Monday with a 238 total.
Ten Boulder County/Boulder Valley schools competed in the Longmont Invite, including defending 4A state champion Silver Creek, though the Raptors didn’t bring their top players and finished 13th. Monarch (eighth at 249) and host Longmont (10th at 252) joined Boulder and Dawson among the top 10 in the team standings.
Rick Uhlir, a former longtime Boulder head coach who was overseeing the team Monday as an interim assistant, likes the way the Panthers survived on a very formidable test at Fox Hill.
“It just seemed like this course ground them all up pretty much,” he said of the 28-team field. “I’m just happy we survived. It’s good for them to see mentally they don’t all have to shoot 72 to win the next big tournament. They’ve just got to keep grinding it out and let the chips fall as they may.”
Though Poorman didn’t putt his best, his ball-striking was certainly top notch on Monday. On the par-5 14th hole, for instance, he hit his second shot with a 3-wood from 265 yards to 4 feet from the cup, though he missed his eagle putt.
Dawson’s Jones, meanwhile, was set back by a couple of double bogeys. But two birdies, and needing just 28 putts for the round, left him with another good round a year after shooting a tournament-career-best 69 at Fox Hill.
“I won this last year so I wanted to come out and play the best I could and try to do that again,” said Jones, who placed 10th in 3A state two years ago. “It paid off well, and I do like this course.”
All of the local schools who competed Monday will be in next week’s Northern Regional state qualifying tournaments in 5A, 4A or 3A. The 4A tournament is Sept. 19 at Indian Peaks Golf Course in Lafayette, the 3A is Sept. 20 at Boulder Country Club and the 5A is Sept. 21 at Mariana Butte Golf Course in Loveland.
Three of Dawson’s top four players are members at Boulder Country Club — Jones, Connor and Cole Folwell — so they’ll have that going for them.
“It’s our home course, so we should be able to do pretty well there,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, a player like Poorman would just like to punch his ticket for state as a freshman, and a performance like Monday gives him confidence he can do just that.
“If I can just do this at regionals, then I’m in state,” he said. “It shows that I can do it. I’ve just got to keep it together.”
At Par-70 Fox Hill Club in Longmont
Team scores — 1. Fossil Ridge 234; 2. Boulder 235; 3. Alexander Dawson 238; 4. Standley Lake 242; 5. Ralston Valley 243; 6. (tie) Windsor and Loveland 244; 8. Monarch 249; 9. Greeley West 250; 10. Longmont 252; 11. Broomfield 255; 12. Eaton 257; 13. Silver Creek 258; 14. Regis Jesuit 259; 15. Niwot 264; 16. Roosevelt 268; 17. Thompson Valley 271; 18. Erie 277; 19. Estes Park 285; 20. Fort Collins 286; 21. Northglenn 290; 22. Brighton 292; 23. Longmont B 304; 24. (tie) Skyline, Poudre and Greeley Central 310; 27. Centaurus 319; 28, Mountain Range 329.
Top individuals — 1. (tie) Alec Poorman, Boulder, and Eli MacKay, Standley Lake, 74; 3. Joey Buccino, Ralston Valley, 75; 4. (tie) Carson Jones, Dawson, and Tyler Bricken, Fossil Ridge, 76; 6. Brooks Hoffmon, Fossil Ridge, 78; 7. (tie) Cam Connor, Dawson, Roy Carlsen, Ralston Valley, Colton Jones, Regis, and Brett Krantz, Windsor, 79.
Other Alexander Dawson scores — Christian Wagner 83, Cole Folwell 84.
Other Boulder scores — Rio Moore 80, Grant Rogers 81, Grant Dinkel 86.
Broomfield scores — Pat LaLancette 84, Evan Fleckenstein 85, Brandon Dvorak 86, Blake Thurman 87.
Centaurus scores — Nick Inslee 85, Simon Pedersen 115, Max Weber 119, Wilson Hattendorf 125.
Erie scores — Ryan Fesmire 91, Zane Begano 92, Harrison Wagnarr 94, Austin Canos 103.
Longmont scores — Seth Dykema 83, Lane O’Connor 84, Matt Ayers 85 Roger Patterson 103.
Longmont B scores — Mitch Gregory 83, Cody Iten 98, Gavin Neuhaus 102, Matt Stevens 104.
Monarch scores — Alex Mautz 82, Nathan Tennigkeit 83, Jackson Elliott 84, Tanner Cole 86.
Niwot scores — Luke Toillion 83, Ed Weaver 87, Andrew Seals 94, Ford Ladd 101.
Silver Creek scores — Dalton Haase 85, Tyler Faye 85, Rudy Masias 88, Erik Sargent 107.
Skyline scores — Wes Back 99, Nick Heard 99, Mason Drouhard 112, Jake Cloke 123.