Eaglecrest’s Emma Bryant, center, smiles as she holds her medal for her fourth-place finish in the 2021 Class 5A girls state golf tournament on June 22, 2021, at City Park G.C. in Denver. Bryant won 5A medalist honors as a freshman, but couldn’t complete the quest for another. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | Emma Bryant had a fairytale ending to her freshman year in high school, which she ended with a remarkable run to the Class 5A girls golf state championship.

Now a senior and robbed of three rounds of state golf — one as a sophomore due to weather that scrapped the final round and all of last season due to the coronavirus pandemic — the Eaglecrest star wasn’t ready for her stellar prep golf career to come to an end so quickly.

But time marches on and Bryant had a final chance to make a run at a bookend title during this season’s two-day state tournament at City Park G.C. She knew when she reached the 18th hole during Tuesday’s second round that it wasn’t going to happen that way.

Bryant faced too big of a deficit in her championship quest going into the final day after one bad hole led to a 5-over-par 75 in the opening round, as even a strong 2-over 72 in the final round left her nine strokes off the pace set by Loveland’s Katelyn Lehigh, who tied the course record with a 4-under 66 to win comfortably.

Twice, Bryant tried to make a surge on the back nine of her final round, but after both of her birdies, she bogeyed the next hole to stunt the momentum.

Still, the University of Denver signee finished as the Aurora area’s highest placer as she finished three strokes and two places ahead of Cherokee Trail sophomore Bead Boonta.

While coach John Olander’s Raptors have to bid adieu to the best girls golf in school history, they have something to look forward to in sophomore Savanna Becker, who made her state tournament debut.

Becker opened with an 83 that had her in a tie for 21st, but ran into some trouble in the final round and ended up in a tie for 41st place.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

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