Boys Golf: Davis Bryant’s big summer sets him up for run at 5A state championship in fall

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Eaglecrest senior-to-be Davis Bryant is about to embark on a three-week stretch of play at national tournaments to close out July and open August before he sets his sites on winning the Class 5A boys state golf championship in the fall. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Since Davis Bryant gave his verbal commitment to Colorado State last October, his golf game has never been better.

Once unplugged from the often hectic world of college athletic recruiting, the Eaglecrest senior-to-be has seen his play reach greater heights than ever before.

That’s saying something for Bryant, a three-time Class 5A state qualifier, state runner-up in 2016 and longtime standout on Colorado’s junior circuit.

“Obviously, I’ve had a lot more success after I made my decision with that weight off my shoulders,” Bryant said. “It’s been a relief since October being able to just go out there and play golf and just have fun.

“It’s more fun when you can play for yourself and not try to impress anybody anymore.”

Bryant regularly updates Colorado State men’s golf coach Christian Newton on his progress and is eager for the National Letter of Intent Signing Day in November. Newton has no doubt been thrilled with the updates he’s received from Bryant, who has had an absolutely fantastic summer with much more to come.

Just a month into summer, Bryant has already played tournaments in Chicago, North Carolina and several stops around Colorado, competition that has led to an even busier schedule for him in late July and early August.

Bryant dominated his way to victory at the Colorado Junior Am at Legacy Ridge G.C. July 11-12 — firing a 65 to win the title by seven strokes — before his schedule goes into hyperdrive.

First, he heads to the Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kansas, July 17-22 to play in the prestigious annual U.S. Junior Am, a 70-year-old tournament that seeks to find the country’s top junior golfer. It will be Bryant’s second trip to the tournament as he also made it in 2015.

Next up is a July 23-27 trip to The Home Course in DuPont, Washington, for the Junior America’s Cup — where Bryant will represent Colorado along with Regis Jesuit’s Cal McCoy, plus Dillon Stewart (Fossil Ridge) and Jackson Solem (Silver Creek) against a field of golfers from 12 Western states — which preceeds a July 31-Aug. 3 visit to The Country Club of St. Albans (Missouri) for the 42nd Boys Junior PGA Championship.

“I’ve never had a stretch where I’ve played more than two weeks in a row, and that was in 2015 when I was in the Junior Am and Junior America’s Cup,” Bryant said. “It just so happens I qualified for tournaments that fall three weeks in a row.

“It will be a good experience either way. I love to play, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Bryant just missed a chance to add yet another trip to his schedule, as he finished as the first alternate for a berth in the U.S. Amateur, Aug. 14-20 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. A double bogey on his final hole left him behind Li Chen (Broomfield), Steve Irwin (Arvada) and future CSU teammate AJ Ott of Fort Collins for the automatic qualifying spots.

Once Bryant completes his epic tour of national competition, he returns home just in time for Eaglecrest golf tryouts.

Before he heads off to Colorado State, the ultimate goal of winning a 5A state championship is still in front of him. Bryant came closest last season, but the incendiary finish of Highlands Ranch’s Kyle Pearson kept that from happening.

Bryant feels like his game is championship ready and he couldn’t have been happier when he found out the 5A state tournament will be played at one of his favorite courses, CommonGround G.C.

“The goal is just to get through regionals and shoot even par and then go to CommonGround and take care of business,” Bryant said. “Tied for 30th, tied for 12th and second, there’s really nowhere else I can go but first place.”

Bryant is also eager to see how younger sister, Emma, will do in her upcoming freshman season at Eaglecrest.

Emma Bryant has a little traveling of her own to do, as she has qualified for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel