Aurora’s contingent in the Class 5A and 4A boys state golf tournaments is low in quantity, but high in quality.
City teams spread out between five different regional tournaments Monday and earned a combined eight spots in the 5A state tournament (Oct. 2-3 at CommonGround G.C.) and 4A state tournament (Oct. 2-3 at Raccoon Creek G.C.).
Among that group was a team champion in Regis Jesuit, which won the Northern Regional at Coal Creek G.C. in Louisville and a pair of individual league winners in Eaglecrest’s Davis Bryant and Regis Jesuit’s Cal McCoy, who both shot 1-under-par 71 to finish atop their respective tournaments.
Regis Jesuit — the two-time defending 5A state champions — grabbed the first of two automatic team spots from its regional with seniors Drew Anderson and Cameron Kirke and junior Walker Fuller joining McCoy in the Raiders’ state contingent.
Bryant and Cherokee Trail sophomore Beam Boonta made the 5A state tournament out of the Central Regional, while Smoky Hill junior Christopher Kennedy emerged with Aurora’s lone qualifying spot out of the Western Regional.
Junior Sha Jefferson put Vista PEAK back in the 4A state tournament with his play at Region 1 in Pueblo.
5A NORTHERN REGION
At Coal Creek G.C., all four of coach Craig Rogers’ Raiders finished in the top 20 as they finished with a team score of 11-over-par on a challenging course that was plenty narrow.
McCoy had a very steady round going and moved to the top of the individual leaderboard for good late, as the University of Denver-bound senior made consecutive birdies on the par-3 No. 16 and par-4 No. 17 to get to 1-under at the end.
McCoy will represent Regis Jesuit at the 5A state tournament for the third time in his career and he’ll be joined again by Anderson — a member of last season’s state championship team — who tied for seventh with a 7-over 79. Anderson made it through 17 holes at plus-4, which would have put him third, but suffered a triple-bogey on No. 18.
Fuller had a string of nine straight pars going in his round, but a bogey on the par-4 No. 18 brought him with a 77 that tied him for third. Kirke battled illness, but managed an 83.
Senior Jack Cooper shot 85 to lead the way for Grandview, which finished 12th as a team. Hinkley rounded out Aurora’s representation in the field in 15th.
5A CENTRAL REGION
Bryant got off to a blazing start in play at Plum Creek G.C. in Castle Rock as he made birdies on three of his first four holes to get as low as 3-under-par.
The Eaglecrest senior got back to 3-under as late as Hole No. 15 until consecutive bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 allowed Rock Canyon’s Kiersten McMullen to catch him with a late birdie.
No playoff for medalist honors was held, so Bryant and McMullen shared the regional title.
Boonta, who joined Bryant on the All-Centennial League first team during the league season, made the state field securely with a 7-over 79 that could have been better if not for losing three strokes on his final three holes.
Behind Boonta, Cherokee Trail finished seventh as a team, while Bryant’s Eaglecrest team was 11th and Gateway finished 14th with sophomore Garrison Milton’ s 91 leading the way.
5A WESTERN REGION
For quite awhile at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield, Kennedy was at the top of the leaderboard as he got as low as 2-under after eight holes.
The Smoky Hill junior was still even after 16 holes before finishing bogey-bogey. Still, it was enough to bring Kennedy in fourth with a 74 and secure his third career trip to the 5A state tournament.
Rangeview senior Levi Robinson has a glimmer of hope to play at state, as he is the first alternate from the regional and would go should one of the finishers in front of him be unable to play.
Three double-bogeys in a four-hole stretch between No. 7-10 put Robinson on the outside looking in as far as an automatic state berth, but he won a playoff of players who finished with 84 to give himself a chance.
5A SOUTHERN REGION
Aurora’s two teams in the field at Colorado Springs Country Club, Aurora Central and Overland, were shut out of state berths.
The Trailblazers were led by Quinn Hiatt, who shot an 87 to tie for 36th, while Rofi Nasier’s 106 topped 15th-place Aurora Central.
4A REGION 1
Jefferson faded a bit at the end of his round at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo, but played well enough to earn his second trip to the state tournament in three seasons.
The Vista PEAK junior steadied himself in the key portion of the tournament and managed to finish in a tie for 10th overall despite failing to make a birdie in his round.
Jefferson’s Vista PEAK team finished in the middle of the 14-team field in seventh.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel