BOULDER — The first Front Range League boys golf tournament of the season was a day full of first-time accomplishments and fresh starts.
For Fairview High School sophomore Daniel Pearson, Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder held in store a rain-soaked milestone for the young player. Shooting his first under-par score while playing in a prep event for the Knights, Pearson carded a 1-under 69 to finish tied for first place.
“Last year, I would be five over through three and then finish three over,” Pearson said. “Today I actually started with a birdie, which was nice. It’s always good when you’re not coming from behind. I usually putt well but today I hit every putt right where I had it lined up.”
Pearson said playing in a group with Fort Collins’ AJ Ott, who also shot a 69, helped propel him to his personal best.
“We both played better because we were playing together,” Pearson said. “It’s always fun playing with AJ because he’s such a good player.”
Behind Pearson’s groundbreaking effort, the Knights took first place in the team scoring with 297 team points.
After a placing 12th at the 5A state tournament to cap his stellar freshman campaign in 2012, Boulder High School’s Alec Poorman fell to a disappointing 43rd place at the state final in 2013. Having experienced firsthand how easily golf fortunes can turn, for better or worse and in less than a day, Poorman is using his up-and-down past to focus on the future.
For Poorman, that meant a good start to his junior season. He got it, shooting an even-par 70 to place third on the Panthers’ home course.
“I’ve played enough tournaments and I’ve matured as a golfer enough to know what it takes and what I have to do,” Poorman said. “I’ve learned to stay patient with myself and to understand that you’re going to hit bad shots and you just have to move on from it.”
Poorman started the 2014 season about as well as he could have, with a birdie on the par-4 first hole. He also chipped in for birdie on the par-3 eighth, birdied the 17th, and birdied the 14th.
As a team, the Panthers placed third with 308 team points.
Leading the Monarch Coyotes (303 team points) to a third-place finish, senior Josh Hill had a strong season opener, carding a 1-over 71 to take fourth.
“My dad always tells me before I play to keep it boring because boring golf is consistent golf,” Hill said. “I was just thinking pars, no three-putts, fairways and greens. I was looking for a nice boring round but then I birdied one and kind of blew up at the end of the front nine. I got my head back in the game and rolled in a few birdie putts on the back.”
Hill birdied the par-4 sixth, par-3 11th, par-4 12th, par-5 14th and par-4 16th.
The next Front Range League tournament will be Wednesday at Highland Meadows Golf Course in Windsor.
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Front Range League Tournament #1
At Flatirons G.C., par-70
Team scores — Fairview 297, Monarch 303, Boulder 308, Legacy 309, Fort Collins 311, Loveland 312, Fossil Ridge 315, Greeley West, Broomfield 319, Rocky Mountain 335, Poudre 348, Mountain Range 354, Horizon 372..
Top individuals — t1. Daniel Pearson, Fairview, 69; t1. AJ Ott, Fort Collins, 69; 3. Alec Poorman, Boulder, 70; 4. Josh Hill, Monarch, 71; t5. Alex Gorman, Broomfield, 72; t5. Li Chen, Legacy, 7
2; t5. Jackson Vacek, Fairview, 72; 8. Evan Buchalski, Loveland, 73; 9. Josh Caridi, Fossil Ridge, 74; 10. Trevor Glen, Legacy, 75.
Other Fairview results — Joe Douglass 76, Andrew Perry 80, Eli King 84.
Other Boulder results — Riley McCarthy 79, Freddy Gluck 78, Luke Wilson 81, Connor Kellermeyer 91.
Other Monarch results — Buck Guthrie 76, Noah Gumbee 77, Danny Gallant 79, Ethan Alexander 83.
Other Legacy results — Jaxon Franklin 77, Mitchell Gore 85, Zach Moritz 85.
Other Broomfield results — Andrew Lanford 77, Ryan May 83, Shane Tilger 87, Adam Tilger 87.