Aspen freshman Brooke O’Sullivan sneaks into top 10 at state golf, Guthrie in top 30
A couple of deep breaths helped steady Aspen High School’s Brooke O’Sullivan after a triple bogey nearly derailed her final few holes on Tuesday in the second round of the girls golf state championship in Pueblo.
Following an eight on the par-5 15th hole at Elmwood Golf Course, the freshman bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 16th, a key red number that led to a 10th-place finish in Class 3A in a field of 84 golfers.
“I had a little routine I had to do. I did a breathing exercise actually. It was kind of funny to think back,” O’Sullivan said. “There were definitely a lot more girls than I expected, compared to all the other tournaments I’ve done previously this year. And they are from everywhere. It was definitely really fun getting to experience it and see everything happen.”
O’Sullivan shot 9-over-par 80 on Tuesday in the second and final round at state, pairing it with the 87 she posted on Monday. This meant solo 10th for the rising Skier golfer, while her senior teammate, Tessa Guthrie, finished 29th overall and avoided triple digits both rounds.
Guthrie’s goal entering the tournament was simply to shoot below 100 one of the days. She even sunk a roughly 25-foot par putt on the 18th hole Tuesday for her 97, which went with the 99 she shot on Monday.
“There was definitely some satisfaction,” Aspen coach Shannon Worth said. “They took it seriously. They really showed up and kept their focus for 36 holes. That’s really hard. The misses were good misses, almost always.”
Jefferson Academy senior Aubri Braecklein battled back to win the 3A state championship with a 69 on Tuesday for a two-round total of 143. She won by two strokes over St Mary’s Academy freshman Maddy Bante, the leader after the first round, who posted 145.
St. Mary’s did cruise to the team title with 468, while Vail Mountain School was second with 513 and Jefferson Academy was third with 515. With only two golfers competing, Aspen wasn’t eligible for a team score.
For the AHS duo, competing at state was a new experience for both, with one player now heading off to college in the coming months and the other already looking forward to her next golf tournament. Both rounds were also personal bests in high school tournament play for O’Sullivan and Guthrie.
“They didn’t lose their cool at all. They were really mentally tough and they enjoyed themselves, too,” Worth said. “They got there because of the process. As Brooke has more outcome goals in the future, it will be the process that gets her there.”
O’Sullivan certainly found satisfaction with the 80, a number she’s used to shooting in practice. But prior to the 87 she shot in the first round at state on Monday, she hadn’t been able to keep her score under 90 all season.
“It was super nice actually scoring lower 80s, which is how I normally would score,” O’Sullivan said. “I definitely want to keep putting as much effort into it as I can. These following summers I’m going to stay completely centered around golf and working as hard as I can and see what develops from that.”