Aspen’s Lucas Lee edges Nic Pevny for Rifle win; AHS and Basalt golf finish 1-2
Junior Nic Pevny is the unquestioned best player on the Aspen High School boys golf team this fall.
However, that doesn’t mean a couple of his teammates can’t give him a run for his money, and that’s exactly what fellow junior Lucas Lee did on Tuesday in Rifle.
Playing at Rifle Creek Golf Course, Lee tied for first with Pevny at even par 72 and won via a scorecard tiebreaker after shooting a stroke better on the back nine.
“Best day of my life, really,” Lee said. “It was my first tournament of the year and I’ve been playing a lot of basketball in the last couple of weeks, so I wasn’t really expecting it. And then I got onto the back nine and I was 1-under and I was like, ‘Wow, this could actually be a good round.’”
It was the second career victory for Lee, who shot 75 to win at Montrose a year ago. He’s one of Aspen’s returning state qualifiers, but would probably like to forget about the state tournament in 2019, where he shot 99 both days to finish at 54-over and in 77th place. Lee hadn’t played yet this season before going to Rifle on Tuesday.
“It was exciting to watch and it was really great to see Lucas just in his groove,” AHS coach Mary Woulfe said. “I just kept my distance a little bit and let him do his thing. And all of a sudden he is coming up 18 and I said, ‘How’s it going?’ And he said, ‘I think if I sink this I might beat Nic Pevny today.’ And I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And he was like, ‘No, I’m not.’ Then he ends up tying.”
Playing with a full compliment of players for the first time this fall, AHS cruised to the team win in Rifle with a collective 221. Basalt finished second with 237 and Grand Junction was third with 249.
Eagle Valley’s Gunther Soltvedt was third with 76, four strokes behind Lee and Pevny. Lee shot 35-37 and was 2-under through 13 holes before a couple of bogeys down the stretch brought him back to even. Pevny also was sitting at 2-under through 13 holes before a bad tee shot on the 14th hole led to a double bogey. He had four pars to finish.
“Nic played an incredible round of golf for somebody who has never seen the Rifle golf course,” Woulfe said. “He had a little bit of a hiccup on 14, on the back nine — that’s the narrow par 4 up there.”
Four players tied for fourth with 77, including Basalt senior Tyler Sims, freshman Garrett Exelbert and Aspen senior Jake Doyle. Basalt’s Kyle Murray shot 83 to tie for 12th and Aspen’s John Hall was another shot back in a tie for 14th.
Both teams are off the remainder of the week before going to Grand Junction on Monday. Each had originally intended to play this past Monday at Eagle Valley, but pulled out of the tournament due to the Glenwood Canyon closure.
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“There are parts of (Grizzly Creek Fire) that got 8 inches of snow in the recent weeks, but we still have activity on warm days,” a Forest Service spokesman said. “We’ll probably need some kind of season-ending weather event, like a big rain or snow to put it completely out.”