Over the past few days, boys golfers all around the state played in regional tournaments to win spots at the various state tournaments. Here’s a look at which local kids punched their tickets to state this week.
Boulder qualified its full team after placing second in a tough field, beating out third-place Mountain Vista by just two strokes. Fairview, which narrowly missed out on a full-team qualification, will still be sending freshman Miles Kuhl and junior Sawyer Sales after they carded a 71 and a 73, respectively.
Boulder senior Luke Blankinship tied Kuhl’s effort to help lead his team to the state tournament, which will take place at City Park Golf Course in Denver starting Oct. 3. Blankinship will be joined by Eamon and Siadahl Sweeney, who tied for 10th at 73, as well as Doug Holleman, who tied at 15th with a score of 74.
“I’m quite excited,” Blankinship said. “I started off really strong and then definitely had a few drop shots but then held on at the end. I knew I was able to get it back, like if I made a bogey and I could make birdie. I was hitting it well.”
Monarch, the lone local team in this region, narrowly missed out on a full-team qualification for the second straight year. Much like last season, they lost in a team playoff — this time to Cherry Creek — before also falling short on an individual playoff to place third as a team.
Junior Talan Gover and senior Caleb Michaels both ensured they’d get a chance to play at City Park with stellar individual performances. Gover tied for second with 70 strokes, narrowly out-performing Michaels’ fourth-place tie and score of 72.
“I am excited to be representing Monarch at state for a fourth year,” Michaels said. “I think Talan brings a complete game, as he hits it as flush and far as anyone but also boasts a tremendous short game. I’d like to think that I bring a lot of experience and leadership to the table.”
Legacy, much like Monarch, was the lone representative from the area at this regional and, though the team as a whole struggled to keep up with the high level of competition, two Lightning golfers managed to make the state cut.
Senior Ben Cerretani lagged six strokes behind the first-place finisher to card a 77 and tie for 11th as sophomore Luke Tourault tied for 14th with a 78.
Only the top two teams and 13 individuals unaffiliated with those teams qualified for state from each regional which, in the case of the Western Region, meant that every state qualifier recorded 79 strokes or less.
Centaurus, led by an outright win by Asa Wentworth at 1-under par, stole the show when it placed second as a team, just one stroke behind first-place Windsor. While the Warriors earned a full-team bid to the state tournament at Pelican Lakes on Oct. 3, Silver Creek — which tied for third with Riverdale Ridge just four strokes behind Centaurus — qualified its full team the old-fashioned way: one person at a time.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Wentworth said. “It’s nice to finally have a round where it’s just a flow. Everything worked well. It felt great.”
The local qualifiers from this region include Wentworth (first, 70 strokes), Silver Creek’s Ben Harding (second, 71), Longmont’s Trace Saunders (tied seventh, 76), Centaurus’ Jameson Love (tied seventh, 76), Centaurus’ Will Thompson (tied 11th, 77), Silver Creek’s Preston Waller (tied 14th, 78), Silver Creek’s Quinn Lockwood (tied 14th, 78), Niwot’s Jackson Sessa (tied 16th, 79), Silver Creek’s Tyler Plaster (tied 16th, 79) and Mead’s Booth Hayes (tied 20th, 80, won a playoff).
Erie and Broomfield endured tough tests from the teams in their region, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the team competition.
Erie will be sending two boys after junior Hayden Jackson gritted out a playoff victory for the final two individual spots. He had to sift through a seven-way tie to knock five boys out of the running, scoring a 78 and winning his playoff on a birdie. He’ll join freshman teammate Sean Cary, who placed fourth with a 72.
The campaign from Broomfield’s two state qualifiers proved just as effective but far less exciting. Junior Mason Hill recorded 73 strokes to tie for sixth, just one stroke ahead of senior Sawyer Hyten, who tied for eighth.
Peak to Peak rose near the top in a tough regional that Kent Denver ran away with, but the Pumas managed to qualify their entire team by collecting 235 cumulative strokes, good for second place. They put together a strong team performance that saw three top-10 finishes from junior George Grady (fifth, 77), junior Jack Winter (tied sixth, 78) and freshman Jack Brayman (ninth, 80), as well as a strong round from sophomore Om Mathur (tied 12th, 82).
Prospect Ridge Academy’s Adam Rolander (tied 15th, 83), Dawson’s Jimmy Leuchten (tied 15th, 83) and Dawson’s Peter Ernst (tied 17th, 84) will join the Pumas at the Pinehurst Country Club in Denver for the state tournament on Oct. 3. PRA’s Max Meador missed out on qualification after playing in a four-way playoff for the 13th spot.
Holy Family engaged in a battle with five teams to secure second place at its regional before the Tigers came out on top, netting 245 strokes to send their full team to state. They lagged 16 strokes behind first-place Resurrection Christian.
Unlike most other regionals, the Tigers did not earn any top-10 individual finishes. Local qualifiers include Jefferson Academy’s Jack McLucas (tied fifth, 79) as well as Holy Family’s Rudiger Heitz (11th, 80), Drake Krommenhoek (tied 12th, 81), Ty Bairrington (tied 18th, 84) and Wiley St. Germain (tied 31st, 88).
“It definitely was a great feeling because none of us shot our season averages and we still placed,” Heitz said. “For the whole team, it created a sense of confidence going into state, something that we haven’t felt all season.”