Boys golf: Broomfield’s Mason Hill strong in 5A debut, Silver Creek’s Ben Harding surging in 4A

Hill is two shots back in 5A, Harding is one behind in 4A

From left: Broomfield High School's Mason ...
Daily Camera file photo
Broomfield’s Mason Hill, at left and seen here earlier in the season, put himself in contention after one round of the Class 5A state championships Monday in Colorado Springs.
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Mason Hill, the Broomfield sophomore playing at his first state golf tournament, had himself quite the debut Monday.

Lifted by a long putt that saved par on his fourth hole, his confidence built up through Day 1 as he climbed up the Class 5A leaderboard at Colorado Springs Country Club and finished tied for third at 1-over-par 72.

Hill played mistake-free golf before bogeying to finish his front-nine at even. Another birdie put him atop the leaderboard early on the back, then he finished by mixing three bogeys and a birdie over his last four holes.

He’ll go into the final day two strokes behind leader Wesley Erling of Pine Creek (70).

“It was a pretty positive outcome,” said Hill before noting a few misfires with his drive. “But when I just played my game, it was smooth sailing. I feel like as long as I can do the same tomorrow and stick to the game plan it’ll be hopefully the same, if not better.”

In reach, Fairview’s Sawyer Sales is six shots back of the lead at 76. He led the Knights as they also got rounds in the 80s from Mathieu Zerwin (83), Nathan Sager (84) and Chandler Levy (85). In the team standings, they are tied for 10th.

Back of Sales, Monarch’s Caleb Michaels is at 77 and Broomfield’s Sawyer Hyten is at 78. Monarch’s Talan Gover and Legacy’s Ben Cerretani are both at 80.

Arapahoe currently leads the team race by a stroke over Fossil Ridge.

In 4A, Silver Creek’s Ben Harding is just a shot back of the lead at even-par 70 at the City Park Golf Course in Denver.

In July at this course, Harding chipped in from 45 feet out to win the Colorado Junior Match Play tournament. He said then that he hoped that the down-to-the-wire, walk-off-style win could help him in other big spots later in the season.

And on Day 1, back in the same setting, it appeared it did. He recovered from a double bogey on No. 13 to birdie two of his final three holes. The surge got him within a shot of leader Bradley Weinmaster of Riverdale Ridge and helped Silver Creek vault into third in the team standings — six strokes back of second-place Cheyenne Mountain and 12 behind the Ravens.

Back from that, Niwot’s Christopher Gunlikson and Frederick’s Jake Chesler also had nice opening rounds, shooting 74s. Silver Creek’s Josh Lurie and Longmont’s Trace Saunders shot 77, Centaurus’ Asa Wentworth and Niwot’s Emmett Shell 78, and Skyline’s Keaton Schell went 80.

In 3A, Prospect Ridge’s Caden Koole is the current area leader as he’s 13th at 3-over 75 at Spring Valley in Elizabeth.

Teammate Jason Arbuckle along with Holy Family’s Rudiger Heitz are at 79. The Tigers, meanwhile, who are the only 3A team qualified from the area, sit ninth.

Leading 3A after a day is Montezuma Cortez’s Thayer Plewe, who shot 67.

All three state golf tournaments will conclude Tuesday.