COLORADO SPRINGS | With the most important figures in his golf life onhand — playing or watching — Lukas Beisner made the game look easy at times Oct. 5.
On a challenging course at Colorado Springs Country Club, the Grandview senior made three birdies on a stretch of six holes for some momentum and finished with a two-over-par 73 that ended up sewing up a sixth-place finish.
Beisner’s result gave him the program’s highest individual finish since Devyn Solano tied for fourth in 2013 and capped an outstanding season for the Grandview program as a whole.
“It was a great honor to finish as Grandview’s No. 1 player since last year I wasn’t even on varsity,” Beisner said. “I’m very proud of where I am as a golfer now from where I was in July or August. …I was just out there doing my thing, playing how I wanted.”
Beisner had never been able to keep up with Grandview ace Kenny VanWormer, but he finished seven strokes in front of the four-time state qualifier to whom he gives plenty of credit for helping him improve.
Both players worked at Valley Country Club over the summer and got to play together often, which allowed Beisner to soak up plenty.
That and playing with players from the Centennial League — which showed out at state with Arapahoe as the team champions and Cherry Creek as the runner-up and with Arapahoe’s Will Kates winning medalist honors — helped his game peak this season.
Beisner, who recorded a hole-in-one on Hole No. 5 at Saddle Rock G.C. Sept. 5 to boot — qualified to play in regionals for the first time in his career and played well there, where he tied with VanWormer for the Wolves’ top score.
He opened his first state tournament with a 75 on a round that included two birdies as he adjusted to the fast greens, then took it up a notch in the second round.
With his grandfather and father — who introduced him to golf when he was 3 — watching, Beisner made what he called “one of the greatest shots of my life” on No. 12, which yielded a birdie and helped him finish strong.
Beisner believes his game — which is especially strong with wedges — is going to improve and now he hopes to get a chance to play in college.
“I think this was my validation that I am ready to play in college at a high level,” he said. “My growth has been exponential and I know I can compete.”
It was an outstanding season as whole for Grandview.
First-year coach Kurtis Bailey’s all-senior group won a regional tournament for the first time and registered a team score at the state tournament for the first time since 2007. The Wolves’ only better state finish as a team came with a fourth-place result in 2005.
VanWormer played at state for a fourth time and he improved his position and score yet again. He debuted with a 61st place finish in 2018, jumped to 37th in 2019, 27th last season and 25th this year with a two-day total of 155 that was two strokes lower than his previous best state score.
Charles O’Donnell shot rounds of 82 and 80 to provide the third score for Grandview (and put him in a tie for 52nd), while Alex Chitkoksoong — back at state for the first time since his freshman year — improved by four shots in his second round to tie for 65th.
Beisner playing partner in the opening round was Regis Jesuit’s Jake Irvine, who ended up with the second-best individual score among Aurora players.
Irvine had a tough opening round in which he had three double bogeys and shot 81, putting him in a tie for 45th. But he had just one hiccup in his second round and made two birdies on the first and final hole of his back nine to finish in a tie for 16th.
Coach Craig Rogers’ Raiders — full of first-time state qualifiers — finished ninth as a team, nine strokes behind Grandview.
Freshman Roland Thornton, who helped Regis Jesuit top Cherry Creek in a playoff to win a regional title, made a nine-stroke improvement in his second round to tie for 49th, while Will Bikulcius tied for 52nd and Cole Dewey tied for 160th.
Eaglecrest three-time state qualifier Andrew White shot rounds of 79 and 77 to finish in a tie for 33rd, while Cherokee Trail freshman Christopher O’Donnell and senior Andrew Jang (who made his second state appearance) finished in tied for 52nd and 69th, respectively.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2021 CLASS 5A BOYS STATE GOLF TOURNAMENT FINAL RESULTS
Oct. 4-5 at Colorado Springs Country Club
Team scores: 1. Arapahoe 222-216 — 438; 2. Cherry Creek 231-224 — 455; 3. Highlands Ranch 233-225 — 458; 4. Fossil Ridge 223-236 — 459; 5. Ralston Valley 237-225 — 462; T6. GRANDVIEW 236-229 — 465; T6. Pine Creek 229-236 — 465; 8. Columbine 226-243 — 469; 9. REGIS JESUIT 246-228 — 474; T10. Arvada West 239-248 — 487; T10. ThunderRidge 243-244 — 487; 12. Fairview 243-249 — 492; 13. Fort Collins 255-244 — 499; T14. Denver East 253-252 — 505; T14. Legacy 257-248 — 505
Top 10 individuals (par 71-71 — 142): 1. Will Kates (Arapahoe) 72-70 — 142 (won in playoff); T1. Wesley Erling (Pine Creek) 70-72 — 142; T3. Luke Cushman (Castle View) 75-72 — 147; T3. Kyle Leydon (Brighton) 76-71 — 147; T3. Gage Messingham (Ralston Valley) 75-72 — 147; T6. LUKAS BEISNER (GRANDVIEW) 75-73 — 148; T6. Matthew Wilkinson (Arapahoe) 74-74 — 148; 8. Max Zadvorny (Arapahoe) 77-72 — 149; T9. Ryan Peragallo (Highlands Ranch) 74-76 — 150; T9. Grant Juergens (Arapahoe) 76-74 — 150
Other Aurora individuals (par 71-71 — 142): T16. Jake Irvine (Regis Jesuit) 81-72 — 153; T25. Kenny VanWormer (Grandview) 79-76 — 155; T33. Andrew White (Eaglecrest) 79-77 — 156; T49. Roland Thornton (Regis Jesuit) 85-76 — 161; T52. Christopher O’Donnell (Cherokee Trail) 84-78 — 162; T52. Will Bikulcius (Regis Jesuit) 82-80 — 162; T52. Charles O’Donnell (Grandview) 82-80 — 162; T60. Cole Dewey (Regis Jesuit) 83-81 — 164; T65. Alex Chitkoksoong (Grandview) 85-81 — 166; 69. Andrew Jang (Cherokee Trail) 84-84 — 168