CARBONDALE — For the bulk of the day, Silver Creek’s Erin Sargent was the standard at the girls’ 4A state golf tournament. But one hole, she put herself in a position where she has to battle back against Jefferson Academy’s Jennifer Kupcho.
Sargent birdied three of the first five holes of the day, giving herself a comfortable lead early in the round. Bogeys on holes six and nine gave up some of that breathing room, but she remained in good shape heading into the turn.
“(Her round) was awesome, it was such a fun day to watch,” Raptors coach Meredith Nelson said. “From tee to green, she just hit the ball spectacularly.”
But she couldn’t quite pull away from Kupcho who — while inconsistent — played a solid enough 18 holes to get a two-stroke lead heading into Tuesday’s final round. On the front nine, Kupcho was everywhere from two-over to one-under par. She eventually settled down on the back nine.
Sargent, meanwhile remained consistent on the back half of the course. She bogeyed 12, but recovered on 14 with a birdie, regaining that lost stroke. She was able to par the next two holes to head into 17 tied with Kupcho at one-under.
That’s when disaster struck.
When Sargent hit her third shot on the 477-yard par five, she tried to take it off the fringe and get a friendly roll onto the green. The shot didn’t go as planned and she ended up in a sand trap, causing her to double-bogey the hole.
“I just got a little cute with the shot,” she said. “I just didn’t hit it quite hard enough. I wish I just put a little more muscle into it.”
She also bogeyed 18 to put her at two-over on the day. A day in which she held the lead nearly from start to finish.
Behind her, Kupcho was able to knock down a birdie on 16 and 17 to put her at two-under.
“I was just trying to play the best I could with all the trouble I was getting into,” Kupcho said. “I had good momentum going into that hole that I just kept going.”
Niwot’s Adara Pauluhn was another local golfer hoping to carry a lot of momentum into the state tournament, but she got into trouble early and had a hard time coming back from it.
Although she did score eight pars on the day, a triple bogey on her second hole put her into a bind. Her only birdie on the day came on 18, at which point she walked off the course disappointed that she didn’t play to the level she knows she’s capable of playing at.
“This is my first time playing (River Valley Ranch) and the greens were definitely the toughest part,” Pauluhn said. “My tee shots were good but after that, into the green, my short game just wasn’t on.”
Tuesday’s second round is slated to being at 8:30 a.m. but weather could throw a wrench into the final day. Should conditions make the course unplayable, Monday’s scores will stand as the final results.
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Class 4A state tournament
At River Valley Ranch
Team scores — Cheyenne Mountain 251, Colorado Academy 256, Valor Christian 262, Northridge 270, D’Evely 275, Pueblo West 285, Montrose 293.
Top 10 individuals — 1. Jennifer Kucho, Jefferson Academy, 70; 2. Kylee Sullivan, Cheyenne Mountain, 73; 3. Erin Sargent, Silver Creek, 74; 4. Hannah Moore, Mullen, 78; 5. Lauren Murphy, Glenwood Springs, 79; t-6. Colleen Casey, Estes Park, 80; t-6. Kiselya Plewe, Dolores, 80; t-6. Lauren Cruz, Northridge, 80; t-9. Kellsey Sample, Palmer Ridge, 81; t-9. Kelsey McKenna, Air Academy, 81; t-9. Tori Goodman, Falcon, 81.
Other Jefferson Academy results — t-17. Mariah Ehrman, 84.
Niwot results — t-12. Adara Pauluhn, 82; t-25. Claire McPeak, 87.
Skyline results — t-57. Laci Williams, 102; t-62. Grace Gullickson, 104.