LOUISVILLE — For several years the Front Range League has been one of the most competitive boys golf leagues in the state of Colorado, so Ryder Heuston’s first individual league championship did not come easily.
Heuston entered the final conference match with a three-shot lead over Fossil Ridge senior Gavin Hagstrom. By the time those two had reached the sixth tee box at Coal Creek Golf Course on Monday, Heuston’s lead had dwindled to one.
With Hagstrom hot on his heels, Heuston found his rhythm just in time and finished with a 2-under 70 to win Monday’s match and claim the season-long title by an overall total of six strokes.
“The last two years I think I’ve been top nine or ten,” Heuston said. “I’ve always been up towards the top so it feels really good to finally win the first one. I think I was like 11-under over five league events or something so I played really well this year. The last two years I’ve also gotten top ten at state so I’m really, really hoping this is a sign that I can go for that number one spot this year.”
Heuston, whose team won Monday’s match and finished second behind Fossil Ridge in the season-long race for the overall team title, had two birdies and a bogey on Monday’s front nine. He started the back nine with a par, a birdie and a frustrating string of three straight bogeys before finishing the round by going 3-under over his final four holes.
“I had a really smooth front nine and a little bit of an up-and-down back nine,” Heuston said. “But the last four holes helped a lot. I got the rock rolling a little bit and hit some good wedges. Overall it was a pretty normal day, I just made a few putts I wasn’t expecting to make and those always help.”
Hagstrom ended up at 1-over, which landed him in third place behind Monarch senior and Monday’s runner-up Brayden Weiss.
Weiss, who missed the first six weeks of the 2019 campaign after having a bone chip removed from his elbow, had three birdies and finished with an even-par 72.
“I’m a little frustrated because I felt like I left some shots out there and it was more of a scrambling round because I wasn’t hitting the ball great,” Weiss said. “But the short irons and wedges are the strength of my game so I played that well and sometimes that’s just how you’ve got to play. I’m just thrilled I was able to come back and play that well at the end of the season and I’m proud of the team today for holding up on our home course.”
The Monarch Coyotes were second in the team competition on Monday, followed by Fossil Ridge in third and Legacy in fourth. Broomfield, which will host a regional tournament at Broadlands Golf Course next week, tied with Horizon for fifth. The Boulder Panthers were 10th.
“It was kind of a rough day and we did not play as good as we can,” Broomfield head coach Tony Ferraro said. “But it’s a hard golf course and the scores for everybody were a little higher. Hopefully, we’re saving all our best shots for next week.”