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Girls golf: Broomfield nabs third in final FRL match

Ava Hickey leads Fairview to fifth place finish

Fairview High School's Ava Hickey watches ...
Daily Camera file photo
Fairview High School’s Ava Hickey watches her drive from the tee box on hole No. 5 during the Front Range League golf tournament at Riverdale Knolls Golf Course in Brighton on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
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BRIGHTON — When Broomfield’s Brooklyn Davis first took to the greens in her high school career, any bad shot could ruin her round. The mental strength that she’s developed as her game naturally matured has helped her improve tremendously as, now a senior, she chases another Class 5A state qualifying mark.

On Wednesday at the Riverdale Knolls Golf Course, she put it all together with a fourth-place finish and a score of 82 at the final Front Range League match of the season. She conquered chilly, damp weather — and a few unfortunate shots — to get the job done.

“Overcoming bad shots is very stressful,” Davis said. “Now, I’ve seen me not get very mad at myself. I’ve had a bad shot here and then I can have a good recovery shot that will save the hole. I went (out of bounds) on one hole and it was a long par-5, had pretty good shots, two-putted and made a bogey. That’s pretty good for me. Normally, I wouldn’t do that, so I think I’ve come a long way since my freshman year to do that.”

The Eagles finished third in the team race with 361 cumulative strokes as Loveland claimed the team crown for the day with 333 strokes. Legacy and Fairview came in at fourth and fifth, respectively, with scores of 382 and 395.

Before she took her first swing on Wednesday, Davis was ranked 67th in all of Class 5A with a scoring average of 90.3 strokes through six rounds. She beat that average by a significant margin at Riverdale Knolls.

She’s not the only Eagle chasing state glory this year, as senior Hampton Traylor has seen her scores drop significantly from her junior season. Once she fully committed herself to the game, she saw her scores fall from the 100s to the high-80s, as she’s now averaging 87 strokes per round. That put her at 49th in 5A as she tied for eighth with a score of 88 in the FRL match.

“She’s strong,” head coach Tony Ferraro said. “She hits the ball farther than most girls can so even when she’s not hitting the ball great, she’ll switch from her driver to her 4-iron and still hit it farther than most girls are hitting their driver. That gives her a huge advantage.”

Finding ways to be versatile

The end of the season hasn’t been easy on Fairview’s Ava Hickey, but the sophomore is making the necessary adjustments and trusting her game down the stretch.

At Riverdale Knolls, she tied for sixth with a score of 85 and did so after trying to focus more on her short game instead of taking big swings.

“I’m going through a lot of changes in my game right now, so I’m trying to make everything kind of come together,” Hickey said. “I hurt my back a little bit, so I’ve been trying to switch up my swing a little bit to accommodate for that. My putting’s been a little shaky, but I’m just trying to get a better feel for everything.”

Regionals are just around the corner, starting May 23, so she’s hoping she can work out the kinks in her back and in her game before then. She’s already been performing pretty well, as she entered the FRL match ranked 18th with an average of 80.7 strokes.

Her coach, John Zerwin, believes she can finish in the top 10 at the Class 5A state tournament, which is set to take place a week later at the Olde Course at Loveland.

“Ava’s very even-keel, which I think is a very strong attribute for golf. She hits it very consistently. Pretty much all of her game is consistent across the board. She doesn’t do anything outstanding and doesn’t do anything terrible,” Zerwin said. “She’s not really getting the results yet — her scores aren’t that much different than last year — but I can see that she’s a much stronger, much more capable player than last year.”

Down for the count, but still in the running

Legacy sophomore Ayla Milan may not have been able to make it to Riverdale Knolls due to illness, but she’s put together the kind of season she can take pride in as she was ranked 15th in 5A with an average score of 79.8. She’s been able to grow her game through consistent play outside of high school golf.

“I think she’s on the progression that in my opinion, she’s going to be top 10 by the time she’s a senior,” Legacy coach Bobby Ortega said. “I think she has the potential to be top 20 this year. She’s played with all the girls in our league like Olivia (Steen of Fossil Ridge) and Katelyn (Lehigh of Loveland) and she can hang with those girls. She still needs to get a little more experience. I think those girls have a little more experience over her, and that’s really it.”

This year, the Lightning have seen their scores drop as the ladies have worked on honing their consistency and short game, which Milan believes they’ve developed through increased team camaraderie. She’s excited to see what the rest of the season may bring, especially when she can get back onto the course.

“Last year, our team didn’t qualify for state, so this year I hope we can play well enough at regionals to qualify for state,” Milan said. “I believe we have a good chance of achieving this because we have gotten much better as a team over the past year.”

Top-20 BoCo finishes at the tournament:

  • Brooklyn Davis, Broomfield, fourth (82)
  • Ava Hickey, Fairview, tied sixth (85)
  • Hampton Traylor, Broomfield, tied eighth (88)
  • Kalianna Boglino, Legacy, tied 12th (91)
  • Kaelan Norgard, Monarch, tied 12th (91)
  • Peyton McLeese, Legacy, 14th (94)
  • Erica Culley, Broomfield, tied 15th (95)
  • Ashley Fiala, Broomfield, tied 17th (96)
  • Amelia Barr, Legacy, 19th (97)

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