FORT COLLINS | Smoky Hill freshman Christopher Kennedy emphatically punched his ticket to the Class 5A boys state golf tournament Sunday.
The Buffs standout ran away with the four-man playoff at the Fort Collins Country Club, winning a spot in the state tournament that opens on Monday by shooting a 4-over-par 75.
Kennedy made the turn at 5-over, but birdied three of four holes between No. 12-15 to get as low as plus-2 and came in at 4-over, nine strokes better than Fruita Monument’s Nic Laubsher. Mountain Range’s Josh Thomson finished at 20-over, while the other Aurora player in the field — Rangeview’s Raymond Simanjuntak — came in at plus-23.
With the playoff win, Kennedy joins senior teammate Paul Cleveland in the state tournament, giving Smoky Hill multiple state qualifiers for the second time in the past three seasons. Cleveland and Kyle Colen qualified together in 2013.
Simanjuntak sat at plus-3 through six holes, but a triple bogey on the par-5 Hole No. 7 put him in a hole at plus-8 after nine holes. Two more triples on No. 13 and No. 15 prevented him from coming back. He had aimed to be Rangeview’s first state qualifier since Josh Kim in 2010.
The playoff came into being when organizers of the 5A Southern Regional on Sept. 21 at Colorado Springs Country Club didn’t follow protocol for a playoff to determine first and second alternates following the tournament. The four golfers in the playoff all finished with rounds of 80.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
5A SOUTHERN REGION PLAYOFF
Oct. 4 at Fort Collins Country Club
Individual results (winner moves into 5A state tournament): 1. CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY (SMOKY HILL) 75; 2. Nic Laubscher (Fruita Monument) 84; 3. Josh Thomson (Mountain Range) 91; 4. RAYMOND SIMANJUNTAK (RANGEVIEW) 94