WINDSOR – Things almost got disastrous for Denver North’s Sawyer Klein. With the ball in play, he struck with a practice swing which amounts to a one-stroke penalty.

As a result, he started his day 2-over through three holes. But it’s not about how he started, it was about how he finished.

The senior shot a 3-under-par 69 to take the outright lead at the Class 4A boys golf state tournament at Pelican Lakes. He played the back nine in 2-under and actually played his last four holes at 2-under. It was far cry from the way he started the round.

“I actually just hit my ball with my practice swing on two,” Klein said. “It was just a shaky start to my day.”

It didn’t last long. He made three birdies on to close his front nine and then kept a steady hand to shoot 2-under on the back.

“Before every tee shot I was making sure I knew where I needed to hit it,” he said. “I was mentally ready for every shot I hit.”

His 69 is just one shot better than Windsor’s Kellen Ball and Falcon’s Reese Knox. Silver Creek’s Ben Harding, Riverdale Ridge Academy’s Bradley Weinmaster and Cheyenne Mountain’s Thomas Herholtz all sit two back after all shooting 71 today.

Ball was the first player in with 70 and for a bit it looked like he was going to get out of Day 1 with at least a share of the lead.

“It was making putts and getting up and down,” Ball said.

He hit just 29 putts for the day, easily one of the top performances for all players in the tournament.

Will Balliet (73) and Aiden Sweeney (73) helped Riverdale Ridge jump out to the team lead as they look to defend their title.

But the Red-Tailed Hawks sit just two team strokes back as they try to win their second team championship in the last three years.

It was a true team effort as Kale Parthen finished with a 75 and Charlie Doyle shot 77.

“Kale fought really hard and I feel like I fought really hard today,” Herholtz said. “It’s hard when you’re giving yourself a lot of (birdie) opportunities and they’re not falling as often as you’d like.”

Tuesday should set up for a fun battle for both the medalist honors as well as the team state championship. Those battles are set to begin at 9 a.m. at Pelican Lakes in Windsor.


Class 5A

Whoever proclaimed that a golf tournament couldn’t be won on the first day, never told that to Fossil Ridge. The Sabercats wasted no time pulling away from everyone in both the team and individual leaderboards.

They lead at 6-under as a team while sophomore Austin Barry has the individual lead at 6-under at City Park.

Rock Canyon’s Charlie Tucker is the closest competitor to Barry at 2-under and will tee off in the same group in Tuesday’s final round.


Class 3A

Resurrection Christian is trying to bring home individual and team championships from Pinehurst Country Club. The Cougars are just two strokes behind Vail Mountain in the hunt for the team trophy while freshman Clint Summers shot a 69 to enter the clubhouse as the only player under par.

Montezuma-Cortez’s Thayer Plewe is just one ball while four other players are within three shots of Summers.