Aspen golfer Lucas Lee wins Montrose tournament with long birdie putt in playoff
Lucas Lee had never faced a pressure putt quite like this one and he made it look easy.
The Aspen High School sophomore drained a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the Black Canyon Invitational on Wednesday, hosted by Montrose, for his first tournament win.
“It was awesome. I was going up against two seniors, so it was pretty cool,” Lee said. “I felt pretty confident when they both missed the green.”
The playoff hole was played on the Par 3 ninth near the clubhouse and a handful of onlookers. Competing against Durango’s Ethan Whidden and Nathan Smith of Pagosa Springs — all three players shot 75 over 18 holes — Lee was the only one to hit the green off the ninth-hole tee box in the playoff.
“They both chipped up, and then Lucas drained about a 25-, 30-foot birdie putt and ended it right there,” AHS assistant coach Coulter Young said. “It was a great way to finish and it was really exciting because it was right there next to the clubhouse, so all the parents and other teams who were still there were able to watch. So it was almost like a little gallery for the playoffs.”
The Skiers tied for second as a team with Gunnison, with both teams shooting 246. Durango won the tournament by shooting 231.
Outside of Lee, it was a quiet day from Aspen, who sent what they are calling their “Varsity B” team to Montrose. Top players Jack Pevny and Nic Pevny did not compete.
“I didn’t think any of the players really had their best stuff, except for Lucas,” Young said. “These kids are pretty good. They have the ability to go low, like Lucas did today. But they are not quite doing it on a consistent basis.”
They will have another chance at it Thursday when Montrose hosts a second tournament.
Basalt also competed Wednesday in Montrose, with Blake Exelbert leading the Longhorns by shooting 7-over 77 to tie for fifth place. Tyler Sims and Braden Exelbert each shot 86 to tie for 22nd.
Basalt finished in fourth place as a team, shooting a collective 249.
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The Aspen High School ski team wrapped up its short and sweet regular season Friday with home races at Highlands. The Skiers hosted both a slalom and giant slalom on Thunderbowl, with an AHS athlete taking three of the wins.