LAFAYETTE — A simple stroke of the pen turned what should have been a banner day for the Silver Creek boys golf team into one of the worst of the program’s season.
The Raptors on Wednesday defended their Class 4A Northern Regional title in convincing fashion, making mincemeat of Indian Peaks Golf Course. SCHS also produced the individual champion, with Andrew Rademacher-Howe more than proving he had the right stuff with one of the day’s two sub-par rounds.
Despite these high points, the team was far from in the mood to celebrate when everything was said and done. A clerical mistake by Todd Millard on his scorecard knocked the junior off the Raptors’ state-qualifying squad. The mishap hit no one on the team harder than Millard himself.
“I was playing well and had a 5 on hole 18,” he said. “I didn’t look over my scorecard well enough and wrote down 35. I signed it and turned it in. It was totally my fault.”
Mistakenly writing his back-nine total in the 18th-hole’s box on his card meant Millard had to take the score recorded. That turned his even-par round at the par-72 course into his highest of the season — a 102.
It also meant that, despite Silver Creek’s automatic team qualification, the Raptors will only be able to take three players to state. A fourth player must be within 10 strokes of his team’s next-highest score to be eligible to play at state. For SCHS, that score was a 72, carded by Dylan Wonnacott. The mistake shocked Millard, not only because of its weight, but because it has never happened to him before.
“It’s unfortunate, I just want to say sorry to my team and my coach,” he said.
The Raptors were quick to Millard’s defense. Wonnacott at one point dug up his own golf rulebook and pointed to what he believed was an exception to the ruling. But the Colorado Golf Association official on hand sunk the appeal.
“It was something regarding outside markers, since we had an outside marker today,” Silver Creek coach Mike Maydew said. “But the CGA official said that it only concerned team play, when you had a whole team on a hole or multiple players there. So he said it didn’t apply.”
Maydew has never been through a scorecard controversy personally or with a player. But he said he has witnessed clerical mistakes cost golfers big.
“The state champion in 2000, a kid from Cherry Creek, won the tournament and everybody knew it,” the coach said. “And he signed for a 4 on the 18th when he had a five and got disqualified.”
Maydew also referenced Argentina’s Roberto DeVicenzo, who lost a shot at a playoff at the 1968 Masters after signing an incorrect scorecard.
“So it doesn’t just happen to kids, it happens to pros too,” Maydew said.
The Raptors sans Millard makes a title defense all about perfection. The team technically has the players to score, but cannot drop the high round each day from their team score with only three on the course Oct. 1-2 at Montrose’s Cobble Creek Golf Course. Even before this scenario played out, Jack Adolfson said the pressure was on Silver Creek.
“I’ve tried to ignore the hype and have just planned on stepping up to the first tee like it was any other tournament,” said Adolfson, who shot 1-under at regionals.
Even with the Raptors aiming to bring cool heads to the big dance, Rademacher-Howe understands the work cut out for his team.
“It definitely feels a lot more demanding,” said the junior, who carded a 2-under to win Tuesday’s tournament. “Since we can’t drop a score, we don’t really have a comfort zone.”
Several local teams had players qualify Wednesday for the 4A state meet.
Broomfield’s Alex Gorman (74) and Bridger Ryan (79) each punched their tickets by finishing in the top 20. Longmont and Niwot also qualified two players each.
Longmont’s Seth Dykema (78) and Matt Ayers (82) qualified, as did Niwot brothers Luke Toillion (79) and Sam Toillion (79).
Centaurus’ Nick Inslee (78) and Erie’s Dalton Anderson (79) also qualified.
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Class 4A Northern Regional
At Indian Peaks G.C., par 72
Team scores — Silver Creek 213, Thompson Valley 223, Broomfield 237, Greeley Central 240, Windsor 242, Longmont 250, Niwot 250, Erie 251, Northridge 264, Roosevelt 264, Mountain View 271, Skyline 272, Berthoud 280, Fort Morgan 289, Centaurus 310, Frederick 347.
State qualifiers — 1. Andrew Rademacher-Howe, Silver Creek, 70; 2. Jack Adolfson, Silver Creek, 71; 3. Dylan Wonnacott, Silver Creek, 72; t4. Josh McLaughlin, Thompson Valley, 74; t4. Alex Liss, Thompson Valley, 74; t4. Alex Gorman, Broomfield, 74; 7. Zach Dwyer, Thompson Valley, 75; 8. Joe Lee, Greeley Central, 76; t9. Seth Dykema, Longmont, 78; t9. Justin Carlock, Windsor, 78; t9. Nick Inslee, Centaurus, 78; t12. Bridger Ryan, Broomfield, 79; t12. Luke Toillion, Niwot, 79; t12. Samuel Toillion, Niwot, 79; t12. Dalton Anderson, Erie, 79; 16. Danny Butherus, Greeley Central, 81; t17. Matt Ayers, Longmont, 82; t17. Brett Krantz, Windsor, 82; t17. Josh Nelson, Windsor, 82; t17. Pete Duvall, Northridge, 82.
Alternates — 1. Ryan Fesmire, Erie, 83; 2. Ryan Lococo, Windsor, 83.
Other Silver Creek results — Millard 102.
Other Broomfield results — Evan Fleckenstein 84, Pat LaLancette.
Other Centaurus results — Simon Pederson 109, Cole Proctor 137, Kristian Williams 123.
Other Erie results — Austin Canoe 95, Harrison Wagnaar 89.
Frederick results –Jenkins Davis 100, Alex Therrin 128, Cooper Lindhurst 119, Jayden McGraw DQ.
Other Longmont results — Lane O’Conner 90, Ben Hodge 105.
Other Niwot results — Forrest Weaver 92, Jay Ostrom 96.
Skyline results — Adam Reigle 91, Ryan Cheung 87, Dillon Blythe 94, Wes Back 111.