Golf: Aspen wins regional crown, Basalt sophomore takes individual title
There were certainly hurdles to overcome Monday if the Aspen High School boys golf team was going to keep its regional title streak alive.
There is the streak itself — seven straight regional crowns entering Monday’s Class 3A, Region 4 tournament in Delta — the pressure to win No. 8 is always in the back of the mind. Then, there is the youth; the Skiers four regional golfers were three sophomores and one freshman.
Finally, there was Experiential Education week, with the Aspen golfers out of town doing something other than golfing last week. Young, rusty and bearing the weight of seven previous regional crowns, the Skiers found a way to brush it all off and shoot 233 at Devil’s Thumb Golf Course on Monday, extending a regional championship streak that began in 2009.
“We’ve had a long history of doing well at the regional, and I was a little nervous going into it this year,” said longtime Aspen golf coach Mary Woulfe. “It was something I didn’t want to talk about a whole lot ahead of time because I felt like the guys were young and I asked them to just go out and do their best and not feel there was this big buildup.”
Freshman Jack Pevny shot 76 to lead the Skiers, followed by 78 from sophomore Dom Lanese — last year’s individual regional champ — and a pair of 79s from sophomores Jack Hughes and Dawson Holmes. All four finished in the top 10 and with the team title will return to the Class 3A state tournament next Monday and Tuesday in Denver.
“You really had to have a good, hot putter today, and I was really proud of our boys the way they played,” Woulfe said. “They needed to pound a few balls to get their confidence going and they did. It was just a great showing over there for us.”
Winning the individual title Monday was Basalt sophomore Holden Kleager — a Glenwood Springs High School student — shooting 73. He won by three strokes over Pevny and Delta’s K.C. Carlson.
Basalt tied for second as a team with Delta, shooting 242, but lost in a tiebreaker. The top two teams — in this case Aspen and Delta — automatically qualify for state. However, all four of Basalt’s golfers did well enough as individuals to each earn a spot in next week’s state tournament.
Basalt junior Drew Broadhurst shot 83, senior Linc Kleager 86 and junior Tanner Korn 88. Korn won a three-hole playoff to earn the final individual qualifying spot for state.
“That’s a big accomplishment for him, especially as a sophomore,” Basalt coach Kenny Doerrer said of Holden Kleager. “He really put together a full, complete round of golf. No real mistakes. I think he had one lost ball that cost him and maybe a few birdies to help him out. He had a really good putting round.”
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