Boulder’s Owens rallies to win state golf tourney
Fifteen-year-old Trevor Owens of Boulder shot a scorching 1-under-par round yesterday at Carbondale’s River Valley Ranch Golf Course to overtake Monday’s leaders and win the Class 4A State Golf Tournament.
Owens’ 4-over-par 76 round Monday left him five strokes behind the first-day leader going into Tuesday’s second and final round.
And while Monday’s leaders, Shaun Fischer of Elizabeth (71), Rifle’s Luke Antonelli (74), Aspen’s Pat McLennan (75) and D’Evelyn’s Blake Holloway (76), dueled it out in the leaders’ foursome yesterday, Owens, of Alexander Dawson High School, quietly shot a phenomenal round playing with the second-to-last foursome.
As Owens sealed his 3-over final score with a short putt for par on the 18th hole, Fischer and Antonelli, watching from the fairway, still had opportunities to win or force a tiebreaker. But Antonelli, who was 4 over after the 17th, bogeyed, and Fischer, who was 5 over, parred. The two finished in a tie for second at 5 over.
Aspen High School junior Patrick McLennan, who entered yesterday’s round 3 over par, shot 5 over yesterday to finish fourth overall in the individual standings at 8 over.
McLennan also led the Aspen High golf team to a fourth-place finish in the team standings, a notable accomplishment considering the last time Aspen High qualified to play in the state tournament was in 1992.
“It’s awesome for these guys,” said Aspen coach Alden Richards, who coaches the team along with Doug Rohrbaugh. “The bottom line is that we earned the opportunity to be here [after qualifying at the regional tournament], and we got a chance to compete against the best golfers in the state. And fourth place isn’t bad.”
During the two-day championship, golfers reckoned with gusting and shifting winds as well as fast greens with tricky pin placements. But warm and sunny weather and the challenging course conditions combined to make River Valley Ranch a splendid venue for the state tournament.
After Monday’s round, McLennan predicted that the tournament would come down to “Who’s making the putts and who’s not.”
And after Tuesday’s round, McLennan commented: “Putting – that’s what I knew I needed to do well and I didn’t.”
After the first hole yesterday, McLennan snatched a share of the lead with Fischer at 2 over due to a McLennan birdie and a Fischer bogey.
But later on the front nine, McLennan narrowly missed several putts, including two birdie putts that rimmed out of the cup.
“I like this course a lot,” McLennan said. “I wish I could have played better on it, but I’ll take fourth.”
Rohrbaugh praised McLennan’s play.
“He hung in there against some good players,” he said. “He played tough.”
“I’m happy,” Rohrbaugh continued. “Some of the kids have been working really hard to get here. I’m pleased for a couple seniors, Cameron Wenzel and Colt Hartrich, because they finally made it to states.”
The Aspen team, comprised of McLennan, Hartrich, Wenzel and sophomore Nate Walla, said they were disappointed with their overall play.
“It’s good to be here for the first time,” said Wenzel, who shot a 92 Monday and an 83 yesterday. “But we didn’t do as well as we would have liked.”
“Here’s what’s frustrating,” added Rohrbaugh, “if we shot the scores that we shot all season long we would have won. Granted, the golf course was tougher than what we’re used to.”
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.