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Boys golf: Monarch’s Caleb Michaels shines in high school sports’ return

2-under 70 at Broadlands Thursday a welcome introduction for sophomore

Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com
BROOMFIELD — Monarch’s Caleb Michaels looks on before putting the final touches on his 2-under 70 round at Broadlands Golf Course Thursday
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BROOMFIELD — Five months dusting on the shelf, the return to high school sports was driven out of the tee box on golf courses around the state with coronavirus restrictions in place.

Monarch’s Caleb Michaels was front and center.

The Coyotes sophomore shot a 2-under 70 to win the Eagle Classic Two-Man Best Ball tournament Thursday at Broadlands Golf Course, marking a spectacular return in the state’s first high school competition since the pandemic shut school athletics down in mid-March.

Michaels said he was nervous.

“I even told my partner on the range he better play well because I wasn’t feeling it,” he cracked.

A rare miss on this day.

His partner, freshman Talan Gover, played well anyway and hit a crucial birdie to help the Coyotes pair to a two-man best ball score of 68, which was tops among the field along with a Valor Christian duo. Starting the round on No. 10, Michaels had two bogeys across his first three holes before sinking a 40-foot eagle putt on par-5 No. 13. He then three-putted for bogey before carding three more birdies to finish his day.

Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com
BROOMFIELD — Broomfield’s Beau Thurman watches his putt at Broadlands Golf Course Thursday (Photo by Brent W. New)

“I struck the ball really well,” Michaels said. “I think I missed only one green (after the bogey on No. 14), so it was pretty smooth sailing after that.”

The day was memorable across the state. Among eager golfers, coaches and spectators, even Colorado Gov. Jared Polis made an appearance at a course Thursday, attending the Denver Public Schools Invitational at Wellshire Golf Course. Social distancing applied for all.

Rules included no touching the pin, no raking the sand and players were instructed to keep distance from others. At the Broadlands, tee times were also put in place in lieu of a mass shotgun start to further spread players out.

“There was a little bit of a different feeling, but I think overall it just felt good to be out here,” said Broomfield senior Kaden Jaramillo, the first to finish his round at the Eagle Classic.

Seconded his partner, Ben Reifschneider: “It’s just nice to be playing again.”

His eagle on the par-5 No. 15 certainly didn’t hurt matters, either.

Along with the Eagles and Coyotes at Broadlands, returning 5A state champion Fairview and Legacy were among the 13-team tournament.

Sawyer Hyten led Broomfield with a 1-over 73. He had three birdies and tied for third overall. Reifschneider shot a 78.

Fairview was led by Sam Knowlton, who shot a 76. The Knights are replacing all four seniors from their 2019 title team.

Tommy Hammond fronted Legacy with a 79.

Boys golf plans to continue its season through October. Boys tennis, softball and cross country are scheduled to begin next week, while the rest of the state’s high school sports are slated for early 2021.

“I think it’s back to some kind of normalcy today,” Legacy coach Bobby Ortega said. “It felt good finally that there’s something going on for kids again. They need to get back to some kind of normalcy. It’s some promise and hope that things are maybe on there way back.”

Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com
BROOMFIELD — Fairview’s Mathieu Zerwin chips at Broadlands Golf Course Thursday (Photo by Brent W. New)