BOULDER — Golf is a mental challenge as it is.
On Tuesday at Flatirons Golf Course, not only did the Front Range League’s best have to deal with the pressure of competing for a league championship, but Mother Nature wanted a say as well. The start of the final league match of the year was delayed 30 minutes and even when the first groups went off, they did so in a steady rain.
“This was the last opportunity to make a move, and it was a little crazy early on just getting a starting time,” Boulder junior Grant Rogers said. “When you are playing through the rain, you just kind of have to expect it to be a grind-it-out day.”
The league standings heading into Tuesday were pretty cut-and-dry and it was going to take a monumental effort by any team to move out of their positions. Boulder’s two-stroke team victory kept them firmly locked in the No. 2 spot in the league, and by virtue of the new waterfall system by CHSAA, the Panthers will play on Monday in the Class 5A West Regional at Raccoon Creek in Littleton.
Fairview was 16 shots clear of the field in the race for the league title and the Knights’ 301 total secured the top spot and the chance to sleep in their own beds before their regional tournament. Coach Jay Capaul’s boys will play in the Northern Region on Tuesday at The Broadlands G.C.
“We started at the beginning of the year and we said our objective was to win the league, get a team to state at regionals and finish in the top five at state,” Capaul said. “Then we talked a little bit about how to get there and I have to say, these guys are probably the hardest working team that I’ve coached.”
Kevin Wohlfarth was the low man for the Knights on Tuesday, firing a 3-over par 73 on the 6,422-yard layout. He and teammates Daniel Pearson (76) and Jackson Vacek (75) all earned second team All-Conference honors for their play throughout the league season.
For Pearson, who is listed as the Knights No. 1, it was a long day that the freshman is more than happy to have behind him.
“It was rough,” Pearson said. “I just felt like I didn’t have it today. I felt like today was the worst I could have played and not good that I didn’t play well today, but good not to do that at regionals.”
The Front Range League Player of the Year, A.J. Ott of Fort Collins, was the first-place medalist on Tuesday, firing a steady 2-under par 68. Rogers finished a shot back and the All-Conference first teamer feels good about his game going to regionals.
“The past two rounds have been under par and the past four have been even or under,” Rogers said. “It’s going great right now.”
Monarch will join Fairview at the Broadlands by virtue of its fifth-place league finish. The Coyotes finished fourth on Tuesday, finishing four shots behind Boulder at 303. Josh Hill led the way for Monarch with a 2-over par 72. Hill and Alex Mautz (76) both worked their way on the All-Conference third team.
Legacy’s dynamic duo of Li Chen and Trevor Glen — both first team honorees — each finished in the top 10, with Glen finishing a 1-over and Chen at 3-over. The Lightning’s fourth place league finish will have them playing their regional on Monday at Aurora’s Murphy Creek G.C.
For coach Bobby Ortega, who early on didn’t want to send his team out in the miserable conditions, Tuesday may very well be a blessing in disguise.
“The thing that I took away, that I didn’t think about was that maybe we can face these type of conditions on Monday too,” Ortega said. “Especially if the weather forecast looks the way it does.”
Follow Jon on Twitter: @JonEYunt
Front Range League Meet #6
At Flatirons G.C., par 70
Team scores — Boulder 299, Fairview 301, Legacy 302, Monarch 303, Loveland 308, Fort Collins 313, Fossil Ridge 313, Greeley West 329, Rocky Mountain 329, Poudre 332, Horizon 341, Mountain Range 351.
Top 10 individuals — 1. AJ Ott, Fort Collins, 69; 2. Grant Rogers, Boulder, 69; 3. Trevor Glen, Legacy, 71; 4. Josh Hill, Monarch, 72; T5. Kevin Wohlfarth, Fairview, 73; T5. Alec Poorman, Boulder, 73; T7. Li Chen, Legacy, 74; T7. Evan Buchaski, Loveland, 74; T9. Jackson Vacek, Fairview 75; T9. Grant Dinkel, Boulder 75; T9. Will Thwaits, Fossil Ridge 75; T9. Cole Bundy, Loveland, 75.
Other Boulder results — Rio Moore, 82; Leo Huettel, 83.
Other Fairview results — Daniel Pearson, 76; Cason McHose, 77; Zac Swenson, 80.
Other Legacy results — Zach Moritz, 76; Colbee Bassler, 81; Spencer Roberts 85.
Other Monarch results — Alex Mautz, 76; Cooper Taylor, 77; Noah Gambee 78; Jackson Elliott, 83.