Sev­eral golfers go low at re­gion­als

Daily Camera (Boulder) - - Sports - By Brent W. New

Holy Fam­ily se­nior Jackson Grace didn’t sound like some­one who’d just locked in his place at the state tour­na­ment.

The Tigers’ No. 1 golfer had shot well enough to con­tend at the 3A Re­gion 4 tour­na­ment up in Car­bon­dale Tues­day — his third-place fin­ish eas­ily good enough for a spot at the state tour­na­ment. But by phone Fri­day morn­ing, his voice filled with some guilt, or maybe just ‘what could have been’, as he was left won­der­ing what more he could’ve done to help his team qual­ify for a state spot of its own.

“As a se­nior this year and be­ing the leader of th­ese guys, I re­ally put it on my­self,” said Grace as the Tigers fin­ished fifth over­all, six shots back of qualifying. “I feel like we were run­ning out of op­por­tu­ni­ties and we knew that. And the guys this year had never been to re­gion­als or state. And so, I put it on my­self to be the leader, as be­ing the only mem­ber of the team who has been to state, to calm the nerves of the guys.”

Want vs. re­al­ity often dif­fer, though. And per­haps no truer than in a sport so giveth of frus­tra­tion and ache.

Holy Fam­ily, tasked with a four-hour car jour­ney to get to its moun­tain re­gional, pressed fur­ther through el­e­vated and windy con­di­tions, and even light­ning de­lays. Grace shot a 4-over 76, three shots back of leader Nic Pevny of Aspen. Team­mate Rudi­ger Heitz made the cut, too, card­ing an 85.

Now, they must turn the page be­fore the 3A tour­na­ment in Gun­ni­son Oct. 5-6.

“I have a dif­fer­ent out­look on the game now,” said Grace, who de­scribed how a de­bil­i­tat­ing slipped disc in his back nearly kept him out of golf this sea­son. “Go­ing from think­ing about quit­ting and never play­ing again, to be­ing back now — I think I have a chance to do some­thing spe­cial at the state tour­na­ment.”

State spots in­cluded two teams and 13 other in­di­vid­u­als out of each re­gional tour­na­ment, per the CHSAA bul­letin. An of­fi­cial list of state tour­na­ment qual­i­fiers and their tee times should be re­leased by CHSAA soon.

Some other fan­tas­tic fin­ished from around the area gave sev­eral play­ers the chance to ex­tend their sea­sons and com­pete for the top prize at state tour­na­ments.

From the 5A Cen­tral re­gional, Broom­field’s Sawyer Hyten shot a 4-over 76. The sopho­more got out of a mini slump to take 11th, while se­nior team­mate Ben Reif­schnei­der (79) also qual­i­fied in 19th.

The first state nod for Hyten, the last for Reif­schnei­der, they will both head to the 5A state tour­na­ment at Rolling Hills Coun­try Club in just over a week.

“I want to go out there and play my best game ob­vi­ously,” Hyten said. “But I’m not try­ing to put too much pres­sure on my­self be­ing that it is my first time at state. I’m just go­ing to go out there, play my game and see what hap­pens.”

Else­where in 5A, Legacy’s Tommy Ham­mond (2-over 74) siz­zled in ty­ing for third at the North­ern re­gional in West­min­ster, while team­mate Deven Sehr (77) tied for 12th.

Fairview’s Sam Knowlton, mean­while, fin­ished 6-over 78 at the Western re­gional in Lit­tle­ton … Knights’ team­mate Trey Har­man and Boulder’s Luke Blank­in­ship and Jack Dooley tied for 21st with a score of 80.

And at the South­ern re­gional, Monarch’s Jackson Har­berts shot a 6-over 78 as the Coy­otes fin­ished fourth as a team. Caleb Michaels added an 80 and Ian Henderson shot an 82.

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