Girls Golf: Singh wins playoff with Murray to take Central Regional title, Raiders qualify as team

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Smoky Hill sophomore Amisha Singh sends a putt towards the hole on Hole No. 9 at City Park Golf Course in Denver during the Class 5A Central Regional girls golf tournament on May 8, 2017. Singh led for nearly the entire day and won the regional championship in a one-hole playoff with Regis Jesuit’s Jaclyn Murray and is headed to the 5A state tournament May 22-23 at The Club at Rolling Hills. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | Amisha Singh’s outstanding day nearly slipped away at the end, but the Smoky Hill sophomore saved herself when it counted.

With a hot putter in her hands, Singh got as low as 4-under-par midway through the Class 5A Central Regional girls golf tournament Monday at City Park Golf Course, but watched a good-sized lead evaporate over the final few holes.

Singh made a clutch putt on Hole No. 18 — the first playoff hole — to beat steady Regis Jesuit senior Jaclyn Murray for what longtime Smoky Hill coach Laurie Steenrod believes is the program’s first regional championship. Singh and Murray both finished 1-under-par after 18 holes to finish two strokes clear of the field.

Regis Jesuit senior Jaclyn Murray played 2-under-par on the back nine to force a playoff for Class 5A Central Regional individual medalist honors on May 8, 2017, at City Park G.C. in Denver. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Murray settled for second place, but her strong finish helped lift the Raiders into second place as a team, one stroke clear of host Denver East. Murray, freshmen Katie Berrian and Skylar Cain and sophomore Eliannah Angel-Lucero posted a team total of a plus-20 239 to grab the second automatic qualifying spot in the May 22-23 5A state tournament at The Club at Rolling Hills.

Centennial League runner-up Cherry Creek finished five shots ahead of the field to earn the other team state spot.

Singh was the only regional entry for Smoky Hill, which didn’t end up with a team score along with Hinkley, the third Aurora team in the tournament, which had only two finishers.

Able to concentrate fully on her only player, Steenrod watched Singh go on a birdie spree to start her round, as she birdied the par-4 No. 2, par-5 No. 3 and par-3 No. 4 holes to get to 3-under-par early. She went even lower with her second birdie on a par-5, No. 9, to make the turn at 4-under and clearly atop the leaderboard.

She carried that score three holes onto the backside before she ran into some trouble with trees on Hole No. 14, with a double-bogey that started a string of bogeys that left her even with three holes left.

Singh righted the ship with a birdie on No. 17, which loomed large given Murray’s surge at the finish.

Murray played her best in the second half of the tournament, as she was 2-under for the final nine holes. Like Singh, she birdied No. 17 and made par on No. 18 to force the playoff.

Regis Jesuit freshman Skylar Cain chips a putt from the rough towards the hole on No. 9 at City Park G.C. during the Class 5A Central Regional girls golf tournament on May 8, 2017. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Outside of Murray, none of the Raiders had played in a regional before.

They handled themselves well, as Berrian played a solid round of plus-6 79 that put her in a tie for fifth place overall, while Angel-Lucero added the third score needed to quality for state with an 88.

Cain carded a 90.

In addition to the two teams, 13 individuals qualified for the 5A state tournament from the regional, including four from Denver East, two each from Castle View, Columbine and Grand Junction plus one apiece from Smoky Hill (Singh), Legacy and Prairie View.

Rocky Mountain has both of the alternates from the regional, who would slide into the 5A state tournament if anybody who finished above them is unable to compete.

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

2017 CLASS 5A CENTRAL REGIONAL GIRLS GOLF

May 8 at City Park G.C., Denver

Team scores (par 219): 1. Cherry Creek 234; 2. REGIS JESUIT 239; 3. Denver East 240; 4. Grand Junction 263; 5. Columbine 266; 6. Castle View 270; 7. Rocky Mountain 286; 8. Prairie View 301; 9. Legacy 314; 10. Fountain-Fort Carson 316; 11. Pomona 341; HINKLEY & SMOKY HILL no score

Top 21 individuals (state qualifiers) (par 73): T1. AMISHA SINGH (SMOKY HILL) 72 (won in playoff); T1. JACLYN MURRAY (REGIS JESUIT) 72; 3. Stephanie Bang (Cherry Creek) 74; Grace Olkowski (Grand Junction) 76; T5. KATIE BERRIAN (REGIS JESUIT) 79; T5; Tess Mitchell (Columbine) 79; T5. Julia Baroth (Denver East) 79; T5. Kaylynn Xia (Cherry Creek) 79; 9. Sarah Hunt (Denver East) 80; T10. Hannah Fey (Cherry Creek) 81; T10. Elena Barboza (Denver East) 81; T12. Olivia Roper (Denver East) 83; T12. Payton Canon (Cherry Creek) 83; 14. Cassandra McCord (Castle View) 85; 15. Izzy Hebert (Legacy) 86; T16. ELIANNAH ANGEL-LUCERO (REGIS JESUIT) 88; T16. Annika Schooler (Columbine) 88; T16. Lindsay Taylor (Castle View) 88; 19. SKYLAR CAIN (REGIS JESUIT) 90; 20. Chloe Manchester (Grand Junction) 92; 21. Trista Skinner (Prairie View) 93

1st alternate: Cassidy Weaver (Rocky Mountain) 94; 2nd alternate: Lauren Axe (Rocky Mountain) 95 (won in playoff)