FORT LUPTON — A town outside Frederick, junior golfer Jake Chesler retreats to a favorite oasis.
Truth is: There’s just something about Coyote Creek Golf Course, he explained after carding a 4-under 67 there for a second straight year.
Those bends there, those breaks — they play as spacious fairways and most-welcoming greens for the Warriors’ ace. And on Thursday, Chesler’s four-birdie, no-bogey round topped the leaderboard at the Frederick Classic and catapulted him into the lead in the Longs Peak League individual race.
“I like it (here), I just like it,” he said walking off No. 18, where his putt for eagle just lipped out. “I’m always confident with my tee shots here, whether that’s a par-3 or par-5. I feel like I’m always hitting my driver well and that just sets up the rest of it.”
When Chesler shot 67 at the Fort Lupton course a year ago, it was a school record, per Frederick coach Chris DeSantis, and it resulted in a seven-stroke victory.
This round, he followed behind the Cheyenne Mountain twosome of Campbell Grage and Carter Surofchek, who shot 69s. In the win, he birdied the par-5 12th and par-3 13th to take the lead, then soared a massive drive on par-5 18 that eventually set up a two-putt birdie.
“Just knowing the course and knowing how the greens break, it’s something of a home-course advantage,” DeSantis said. “It’s something that Jake has really done well here. In his third year playing out here, he understands how the greens are, how to hit it, and where to place it.”
In the big picture, Chesler eclipsed Northridge’s Traejan Andrews for the individual lead in the Longs Peak League.
Shooting nine strokes better than Andrews at Coyote Creek, Chesler now leads the race by four strokes with three league tournaments remaining. Niwot junior Christopher Gunlikson, who tied for fifth Thursday with a 75, is also in contention.
“Today was just a mix of everything,” said Gunlikson after two putts fizzled out on 18. “I mean I was hitting these really good putts but at the very end they would just lip out. I thought they were dead center, but I guess not.”
Frederick, which finished second to Cheyenne Mountain in the tournament, but first among league foes, pushed the team’s LPL lead to five strokes over Riverdale Ridge.
The Warriors shot 233, one better than the Ravens. Niwot was eighth (272) with Luc Blondeau assisting Gunlikson with an 86.
Outside the LPL, Jefferson Academy took seventh at 251 on the strength of Ethan Runyon’s 75. The junior, looking to again qualify for state, was 4-over through eight holes before rallying on the back.
Erie was 14th (274) with all four golfers — Chase Loschen (90), Kyler Adams (91), Austin Boselli (93), Benjamin Leach (94) — penciling in the 90s.