Girls golf: Holy Family’s Jessica Mason out to big lead after Day 1 at 4A state

Mason was the only golfer under par, shooting a 69

AURORA — Holy Family’s Jessica Mason, ...
Brent W. New/
AURORA — Holy Family’s Jessica Mason, left, shares a laugh with coaches and a teammate while awaiting her tee shot at CommonGround Golf Course on Monday, June 21, 2021.

AURORA — A wide grin between shots. A few laughs with her coaches and a teammate after another hole. Holy Family junior Jessica Mason looked at ease while racing out to a giant lead on Day 1 at the Class 4A state golf tournament.

“You’re already at state, the hard stuff is done, so just relax and play golf,” said Tigers coach Matt Schalk, who is the father of the school’s former golf star, Hailey, who won three straight state titles before her senior season was canceled last year due to the pandemic. “Jess is really relaxed, and has been all year, and she’s playing some of her best golf.”

As her drives routinely did down the fairways at CommonGround Golf Course Monday, the Holy Family junior put distance on the rest of the field after delivering a sensational opening round score of 3-under 69.

The school’s newest golf supernova finished with three birdies, two bogeys and an eagle. She is ahead of Mead’s Timbre Shehee in second place by eight strokes going into Tuesday’s final round.

Two years ago, Mason finished fifth at a frigid state tournament that canceled Day 2 due to snow. Tuesday, she will look to finish off the school’s fourth consecutive individual state championship in girls golf.

“My game is a lot better now,” Mason said. “It’s two years later and I have developed a lot more as a player. I’m more confident in that I know I can win. I’m not scared to go out and play. It’s easier in that way — and the weather is nicer this time.”

Overcast and with temperatures in the high 60s, Mason sizzled through her first 13 holes, carding three birdies and no bogeys.

She was so good on this day, in fact, that her first hiccup — a bogey on No. 14 — was immediately followed by an eagle on 15.

Taming the 454-yard hole, her second shot from about 193 yards away dribbled onto the front of the green. A picturesque long putt followed.

“On 14, I was kind of mad because my par putt kind of lipped (out),” Mason said. “So, on 15, I was like OK. It was a par 5, it’s like 450, I can get on in two.”

Mason narrowly missed a birdie putt on 18 to finish her day.

Brent W. New/
AURORA — Mead’s Timbre Shehee takes a shot at CommonGround Golf Course on Monday, June 21, 2021.

Down from that, Shehee finished with a 77, tallying a birdie and six bogeys. Niwot’s Halie Ostrom (82) sits 11th and Sydney Rothstein (84) is tied for 12th.

“It’s not over yet, but I’m really happy for Jessica,” said Shehee, who like Mason, won her regional tournament. “I’ve played with her all year long and she works really hard. She is super deserving of her round today. But, yeah, I’m a little disappointed, a little frustrated.”

Holy Family is eight strokes behind Discovery Canyon for the team lead, sitting at 47-over 263. Following up Mason in scoring, Madison Rooney shot a 91 and is tied for 27th, while sophomore Ansley Schnelle carded a 103 and is tied for 48th.

Mead (280) is seventh as a team and Niwot (293) is ninth.

Other area golfers inside the top 50 include Centaurus’ Julia Love (91), Frederick’s Olivia Fauerbach (96), Erie’s Marin Cantwell (96), Mead’s Jodean Amen (97), Erie’s Sydney O’Connor (97) and Longmont’s JuliAnne Herrmann (101).