Pevnys have Aspen High golf tied atop leaderboard after first day of state

Mary Woulfe just hoped to be in contention. Instead, the Aspen High School boys golf coach finds her team tied atop the leaderboard after the first day of the Class 3A state tournament in Colorado Springs.

“I had no expectation of being in the lead,” Woulfe said after Round 1 on Monday. “Truly and honestly, I know our team is extremely talented, but I expected there to be a team that went really low with everybody on their team, and that didn’t happen today which put us in the position to be within striking range tomorrow.”

Playing at Eisenhower Golf Course on the U.S. Air Force Academy’s campus, Aspen shot a three-player combined score of 16-over 232 Monday to end tied with Lutheran in first place. Despite the loss of four talented seniors from a year ago, AHS finds itself in position to possibly repeat as state champions. Last year’s win at Boulder Country Club was the program’s first state title.

Holy Family is in third after a round, three shots back of Aspen and Lutheran, while powerhouse Kent Denver is five shots back in fourth. Sterling (22 over) and Colorado Academy (26 over) also remain within striking distance.

“It is very sweet,” AHS senior Jack Pevny said. “We knew coming in if we put three decent rounds together we would be up there and we put ourselves in a great spot to repeat as champions.”

Pevny, the lone returner from last year’s state championship team, shot a 2-over 74 and finished Monday’s round in a three-way tie for third place. However, it was his brother, sophomore Nic Pevny, who stole the show, shooting even par 72 to finish the day in second, two shots back of leader Walker Franklin of Prospect Ridge.

Nic Pevny, making his state debut, made the shot of the day, hitting a hole-in-one on the 185-yard Par 3 17th to vault himself ahead of his brother and into second place. Nic said it was his second career ace, his other coming in a tournament about three years ago in Aspen.

“This one was pretty big,” Nic Pevny said. “I feel pretty good. I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Neither of the Pevny brothers were a question mark entering Monday’s round. The Skiers did wonder, however, where their third score was going to come from and it was junior John Hall who provided by shooting 14-over 86 to finish tied for 44th. Woulfe said Hall was hitting the ball about as well as anyone on the course.

“He was hitting the ball so well and faced so much adversity and was able to control the emotions and hang in there,” Woulfe said. “He had an unbelievable day. He hit the ball like he was going to be below par and he had a day where he probably lipped eight putts and had really bad rub of the green and really bad luck.”

Sophomore Lucas Lee, Aspen’s fourth golfer, shot a 27-over 99 to end the day tied for 78th in his state debut.

Nic Pevny will play in the lead group in the second and final round on Tuesday alongside Franklin and Kent Denver’s Jeffrey Zhou. They tee off at 10:57 a.m. Jack Pevny will play in the second group with Lutheran’s Westin Pals and Sterling’s Tayleb Schaefer, who tee off at 10:48 a.m.

“I’m very pleased with how the guys performed today. Just to have a chance to be in the mix again,” Woulfe said. “You graduate four amazing players and you are still in the mix. It says a lot about the depth of this team and the heart of this team.”

Basalt High School finished the first round in 11th place after shooting a 46-over 262. Junior Tyler Sims led the Longhorns by shooting a 10-over 82, which puts him in a tie for 30th. Senior Blake Exelbert is tied for 53rd after shooting a 17-over 89, while his younger brother, sophomore Braden Exelbert, is tied for 59th after shooting 19-over 91. BHS sophomore Kyle Murray shot a 25-over 97.