Solid Smith ties for 11th at 4A state golf tourney

Palisade’s Kyler Smith knew consistency was going to be his key.

After shooting a 2-over-par 74 at the first day of the Class 4A state golf tournament at the Golf Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs, Smith carded a 4-over-par 76 on Tuesday.

Smith’s two solid rounds garnered him an 11th-place finish.

“I was really happy with the way I played,” Smith said. “Those were the two lowest rounds I’ve had all year.”

Smith struggled on the front nine Tuesday, finishing with four bogeys. On the back nine, Smith made par on the par-5 10th hole, then birdied the next three holes.

“I kept my swing smooth and wasn’t trying to crush it,” Smith said. “After the tough run on the front, I knew I had to attack and not be afraid of shots.”

Smith, only a sophomore, finished with 23 pars and four birdies between his two rounds.

Montrose’s Drew Trujillo finished 10th with a two-day 148. The Indians’ Garrett Johnson finished tied 20th with a 153.

Montezuma-Cortez finished second as a team with a 448. Valor Christian won the team title with a 433.

At the Class 5A tournament at Valley Country Club, Fruita Monument’s Joey Saad struggled in his second round, carding an 8-over 80. Saad’s two-day total of 153 put him in a tie for 22nd.

“He had high expectations and it’ll make him work harder,” Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox said. “He knows where he stacks up and he’ll keep getting better.”

Saad started the day with pars on his first five holes. Saad stumbled at the par-3 sixth hole with a double bogey. Saad bogeyed his next two holes and finished the front nine at 5-over.

“He doubled that hole and it plagued him,” Fox said. “He couldn’t get a run going today.”

On the back nine, Saad made his only birdie of the day on No. 16.

“He just couldn’t get any momentum,” Fox said. “But it was a great year for him, and a great experience for him to get over here.”

Central’s Chad Johnson also didn’t have the second round he wanted, shooting a 12-over-par 84. Johnson’s two-day total was 18-over 162, which tied him for 53rd place.

“When Chad looks back I know he’s going to have enjoyed this experience,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “But it didn’t go as well as he would have wanted.”

Johnson didn’t start well, shooting 8-over on his first nine. The Central senior responded on the second nine, shooting 4-over.

“He lost confidence in his putter,” Dixon said. “He wasn’t making the putts he was making (Monday).”

Regis Jesuit won the 5A boys title with a 435 team score.

At the Class 3A tournament at Eaton Country Club, Aspen’s Jesse Beetham finished second with an even-par 142.

Grand Valley’s Douglas Mikesell tied for 51st with a 168. Rifle’s Danny Bartels also turned in a 168.

Meeker’s Trey Morris finished tied 62nd with a two-day 174, Dylan Walters of Grand Valley was 66th with a 176 and Tristan Quigley of Rifle was 68th with a 178.

Kent Denver won the team title 437 led by Ethan Freeman, who won the individual title with a 3-under-par 139.


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