Aspen frosh Beetham wins playoff hole at Glenwood Invite | AspenTimes.com

Aspen frosh Beetham wins playoff hole at Glenwood Invite

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jeff Caspersen/Post IndependentAspen's Jesse Beetham eyes his tee shot Monday on the fourth hole at Glenwood Springs Golf Club.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Shaking and with his heart racing, Aspen’s Jesse Beetham sunk a four-foot putt and pumped his fist à la Tiger Woods.

With good reason.

That nerve-wracking putt, his fourth shot on the par-4 first hole, delivered a playoff victory for the freshman golfer at Monday’s Glenwood Springs Invitational boys golf tournament. Beetham’s big shot, which fell at Glenwood Springs Golf Club, tailed a narrow miss on a putt of similar distance by Rifle senior Klayton Costanzo.

“I was shaking pretty bad on that putt,” said Beetham, who’d never experienced a high school playoff before. “My heart was racing, but I made it, and I was really happy.”

Beetham and Costanzo matched 2-over-par 72s in regulation to set the stage for what turned out to be just one extra hole.

“It was just one of those days where things weren’t working,” lamented Costanzo, who felt he could have prevented a playoff by simply cashing in a birdie chance or two in regulation. “The little things just worked the wrong way.”

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That wasn’t the case for Beetham, whose clutch putt followed a clutch approach shot. He somehow directed his second shot through a 10-foot window between trees on the playoff hole. His ball, which traveled around 120 yards, landed just shy of the green.

“Instead of trying to go for some hero shot, I just chipped it up there, and it ended up paying off,” Beetham said. “I was behind a couple trees. I knew I had to get it a little low, so I took a chip six.”

A chip shot and putt later and Beetham had a victory in the bag.

“It was great fun,” he said. “[Klayton] was a nice kid. I had a great time.”

It was quite the day overall for Aspen, which won Monday’s tournament with a team score of 234. The Skiers, who saw Conor Hansen contribute a 79 and Coulter Young shoot an 83, edged Battle Mountain by 16 strokes.

Behind a 79 from Michael Braklow, Glenwood Springs took third with a 251. Taylor Mays had an 85 and Kelbey Artaz churned out an 87 for the Demons.

Three double bogeys and a bogey made for a frustrating front nine for Braklow, who thought he should have carded a lower score on his home course. He finished strong with a pair of birdies on his second go-around on the nine-hole course known as “The Hill.”

“I came back a little,” Braklow said.

Costanzo and Rifle finished fourth overall (257) and Coal Ridge, behind an 85 from Andy Smedra, an 86 from Dejon Elmer and an 87 from Casey Lawrence, tied with Summit for fifth. Each school finished with a 258.

Arick Zeigel led Roaring Fork with an 84 that was good for ninth place.

jcaspersen@postindependent.com