DENVER — It may have taken her two years to make it to the Class 5A state golf tournament, but Broomfield’s Nicole Fatovic couldn’t have been more grateful to take to the course to represent her school in Colorado’s biggest competition.
On Monday at the City Park Golf Course, Fatovic earned a top-20 standing on the first day of the two-day tournament as she shot a 12-over par 82, and tied at 18th with two other competitors. In a sea of 84 athletes, that put her in a good position going into the second day as she made the top one-quarter of the field.
Her game favored the weather which, though cooler than temperatures of late, still proved to be warmer than she might normally see during the usual spring competition in May. And now that she had the first day to really get a feel for the course, she’ll head into day two with a little more confidence and insight.
“I really like the course. I had some shots I could have done better, but yeah, it was fun,” Fatovic said. “There are some tee boxes I didn’t expect to be as far back and stuff, and just seeing the slope of the greens, that will help for tomorrow.”
Some of the younger players from the area also earned their chops on the greens on Monday.
Ava Hickey, a freshman out of Fairview, completed her first day just two strokes behind her Broomfield counterpart and sat at a four-way tie for 25th. She ran into some struggles in her approach to the course but hopes to shore those up when she returns to action on Tuesday.
Now, she knows just what to expect.
“The course was really difficult,” Hickey said. “It played really long and some of the pin positions were tough. I didn’t play my best, but I’m hoping to do a little better tomorrow. I think there are definitely holes that I can improve upon tomorrow.”
Ayla Milan, another freshman out of Legacy, had to dampen her nerves to play through the incredibly tough field. The newcomer to the high school scene had to play through a season unlike any before it. She was elated to hit the first milestone of her four-year goal to make it to the state competition every year.
She completed day one at 40th with an 89.
“I think tomorrow I won’t be as nervous and all, so I think I’ll be able to play better then. And all my other tournaments will just help me be more prepared (next year),” she said. “It was a nice course. The back nine was hard, though, because of all the hazards. I’m going to play it more safe (tomorrow) and be more consistent.”
Local competitors also included Broomfield’s Brooklyn Davis (50th, 93 strokes), Legacy’s Mia Blackard (56th, 94), Broomfield’s Hampton Traylor (59th, 95), Monarch’s Adair Tueton (74th, 103), Legacy’s Peyton McLeese (74th, 103) and Fairview’s Sarah Wicks (80th, 109).