AURORA | Nobody was more excited than Aurora golfers when it was revealed the Class 5A boys state golf tournament would be played at CommonGround G.C.
A readily accessible public course set up to shoot low had players from city programs looking forward all season.
Together with unfavorable weather conditions — at least for the first day — CommonGround put up a fight over two days, but in the end locals walked away with the two biggest prizes they could.
Eaglecrest senior Davis Bryant showed ice water in his veins on the back nine Tuesday when he took over the lead from friend and playing partner Dillon Stewart of Fossil Ridge and never let it go on his way to becoming the Raptors’ first-ever state golf champion.
In front of a large gallery that seemed to largely be pushing for him, Bryant finished with a 2-under-par 69 on the day to finish two strokes clear of Stewart and three ahead of his other playing partner, Grand Junction’s Canon Olkowski.
On top of the individual win, Aurora had a team winner as well as Regis Jesuit held off a few late charges on its way to a third consecutive team championship and seventh in the past eight season.
Coach Craig Rogers’ team took a four-stroke lead in to the final day, pushed it as high as 13 strokes and watched it drop down to as few as five in the late stages of the final round before its total of plus-16 442 won it by a comfortable seven strokes over Cherry Creek.
Senior Cal McCoy, a member of all three of the Regis Jesuit championship teams, punctuated the performance by draining a long putt on Hole No. 18 and pumped his fist in front of the large number of Raiders’ supporters.
McCoy came into the second day in position to make a run at the individual title, but his 74 — which followed a 1-under-par 70 on the opening day — brought him five strokes behind Bryant in a tie for fourth with Arapahoe’s Tommy Packer.
Senior Cameron Kirke had at least a share of the individual lead on two occasions in his state debut for Regis Jesuit and shot 76 on the final day to finish in a tie for 11th. Senior Drew Anderson, whose second round showing in 2016 helped the Raiders to a tight win, again provided a good third score with a 4-over 75.
Junior Walker Fuller will be the only returner for Regis Jesuit next season from the championship-winning team and he’ll try to build on a state performance in which he shot 78 and 80 to finish in a tie for 47th.
Smoky Hill junior Chris Kennedy and Cherokee Trail sophomore Beam Boonta played with each other on a few occasions during Centennial League play this season and they ended up together in a pairing in the final round.
Both players used it to their advantage and helped push each other up the leaderboard as Boonta carded a 1-over 72 on the final day to earn a tie for sixth place overall and Kennedy came in with a 76 that put him a tie for 15th.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 CLASS 5A BOYS STATE GOLF TOURNAMENT
Oct. 2-3 at CommonGround G.C.
Team scores (par 213-213 — 426): 1. REGIS JESUIT 217-225 – 442; 2. Cherry Creek 221-228 — 449; T3. Arapahoe 228-222 — 450; T3. Grand Junction 226-224 — 450; 5. Denver East 228-229 – 457; 6. Fossil Ridge 222-236 — 458; 7. Heritage 229-230 — 459; 8. ThunderRidge 224-237 — 460; T9. Rock Canyon 236-226 — 462; T9. Fairview 226-236 — 462; 12. Fruita Monument 244-228 — 472; T13. Legacy 250-241 — 491; T13. Monarch 243-248 — 491
Top 10 individuals (par 71-71 — 142): 1. DAVIS BRYANT 70-69 — 139; 2. Dillon Stewart (Fossil Ridge) 69-72 — 141; 3. Canon Olkowski (Grand Junction) 70-72 — 142; T4. CAL MCCOY (REGIS JESUIT) 70-74 — 144; T4. Tommy Packer (Arapahoe) 72-72 — 144; T6. BEAM BOONTA (CHEROKEE TRAIL) 74-72 — 146; T6. Freddie Gluck (Boulder) 73-73 — 146; T6. Sam Blackwood (Heritage) 71-75 — 146; T6. Ryder Heuston (Fairview) 72-74 — 146; T6. Connor Jones (Mountain Range) 72-74 — 146
Other Aurora individuals: T11. Cameron Kirke (Regis Jesuit) 71-76 — 147; T15. Chris Kennedy (Smoky Hill) 73-76 — 149; T23. Drew Anderson (Regis Jesuit) 76-75 — 151; T47. Walker Fuller (Regis Jesuit) 78-80 — 158