COLORADO SPRINGS — Seeing as how they tied for 14th place at state last season by shooting matching scores in each of the their 2017 rounds, it was oddly fitting that Kellen Kudrna and TJ Shehee carded the exact same score on Day 1 of the 2018 state tournament.
Neither Kudrna nor Shehee had his best game on Monday but at least neither played his way out of contention. Both Mead seniors left The Club at Flying Horse in a three-way tie for fifth place with matching 2-over 74’s.
With Montrose junior Micah Stangebye leading at 3-under, both Kudrna and Shehee remain within striking distance — but just barely.
“I’m happy that I still have a chance because I didn’t play very well today,” Shehee said. “I missed a lot of putts but I still have a chance and I’ll need to play really well tomorrow.”
Shehee, who has finished in the top 25 at state in each of his first three prep seasons, opened his round with a birdie and shot a 1-over 37 on the front nine. After birdying three of the first five holes on the back nine and getting to 2-under through 16 holes, Shehee double-bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18 to end the round.
Kudrna had four birdies on his Day 1 scorecard but also had three bogeys and double-bogeyed the par-4 ninth. He was at even par through 13 holes.
“There’s a lot of birdies out there and I know I left a lot of shots out there today,” Kudrna said. “I know we’re both fifth but I think it’s getable tomorrow. I still believe we have a shot and I’ll continue to believe tomorrow because if you don’t believe then it’ll definitely never happen.”
Also with four birdies on Monday, Centaurus senior Nick Vaver will begin Day 2 on Tuesday in eighth place at 3-over. Vaver, who narrowly cracked the top 50 last fall, birdied Nos. 4, 6, 10 and 18 but bogeyed six holes and double-bogeyed No. 17.
Niwot’s Jack Hoover had a rough finish to his round. The Cougars senior was 2-over at the turn after an eagle on the par-5 third hole and birdying No. 9. He got to 3-under through 12 holes before picking up eight strokes over the final six holes.
Play will resume at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at Flying Horse.
Class 4A boys golf state championships
At The Club at Flying Horse
Team scores — Montrose 221, Steamboat Springs 229, Palmer Ridge 234, Mullen 239, Northridge 241, Ponderosa 241, Durango 243, Evergreen 247, Discovery Canyon 250, Coronado 261, Lewis-Palmer 263, Woodland Park 263, Pueblo Centennial 270.
Top individuals — 1. Micah Stangebye, Montrose, 69; t2. Jack Rotermund, Steamboat Springs, 73; t2. Mac Konrad, Ponderosa, 73; t2. Traejan Andrews, Northridge, 73; t5. Kellen Kudrna, Mead, 74; t5. Ryan Lords, Montrose, 74; t5. TJ Shehee, Mead, 74; 8. Nick Vaver, Centaurus, 75; t9. Clay Whitton, Evergreen, 76; t9. Ethan Whidden, Durango, 76; t9. Oliver Gibbons, Green Mountain, 76; t9. Rhett Johnson, Mullen, 76.
Frederick results — t17. Jake Chesler 78; t55. Colton Gabbard 87.
Longmont results — t71. Adam Gannon 91.
Niwot results — t13. Jack Hoover 77; t47. Andrew Elliott 85.
Silver Creek results — t26. Garrett Stansel 80; t59. David Brett 88.