McLennan leads Aspen in the hunt |

McLennan leads Aspen in the hunt

Aspen Times staff report

Aspen High School junior Patrick McLennan plays for a chance at the Class 4A state golfing title today at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale.

McLennan, who shot a 3-over-par 75 in the first round of two at the Class 4A state golfing tournament yesterday, will tee off with the individual leaders about 11:30 a.m. today. McLennan trails Elizabeth’s Shaun Fischer by four strokes and Rifle’s Luke Antonelli by one shot.

Meanwhile, the four-player Aspen High golf team – McLennan, Colt Hartrich, Nate Walla and Cameron Wenzel – will play for a shot at the overall title.

After yesterday’s round, the Aspen team was in sixth place with a cumulative score of 246 (based on the team’s top three rounds yesterday), seven strokes behind leaders Elizabeth and Mullen.

“Who’s making the putts and who’s not – that’s what it’s going to come down to,” McLennan predicted after completing his round yesterday.

“I’m hitting all my clubs real well,” McLennan continued. “I’m getting here early [today] to get some practice on the greens because that’s where this tourney will be won or lost.”

Gusting winds and exceedingly fast greens made play difficult yesterday. McLennan, whose family moved to Aspen from Hilton Head, S.C., this summer, said the greens are the fastest he’s ever played. “U.S. Open caliber,” he said.

Elizabeth’s Shaun Fischer agreed.

“I didn’t go after a single putt all day but I lagged well,” he said after turning in a 1-under 71 to lead the field. “I hit a lot of greens for the wind, and when I missed I just tried to get up and down.”

Fischer notched five birdies in his round, as well as four bogeys. McLennan shot two birdies and four bogeys.

Aspen golf coach Doug Rohrbaugh, who coaches the Skier team along with Alden Richards, was happy with McLennan’s play.

“He’s very mature on the golf course, and that’s what got him around with that score,” he said. “He plays smart golf.”

Aspen senior Hartrich shot an 84; sophomore Walla shot an 87; and senior Wenzel shot a 92. Basalt’s Devon Child, who qualified for states with a solid round at regionals, shot an 87 yesterday.

“The greens are super-fast, fairways are hard, tees are pretty far back and the pin placements are ridiculous,” Walla commented about the course after his round yesterday.

In today’s round, McLennan and the three other leaders with tee off last, at approximately 11:30 a.m. Players lagging behind in the individual standings will tee off first, beginning at about 8:30 a.m.

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