Palmer’s Colin Prater wishes he could have two par 3s back at the 5A state golf tournament.
He’ll get that chance.
Prater took a double bogey and triple bogey after finding water hazards but played the other 16 holes at 1-under-par and finished the first round three strokes off the lead and in a tie for fourth at 4-over 75 at the Club at Rolling Hills in Golden.
“If I just hit the green, that fixes that,” Prater said of holes No. 3 and 17. “They were just bad swings. I just lost concentration. If I miss anywhere else I’m fine, but I missed in the one spot I couldn’t miss on both and it just kind of bit me in the butt.”
Prater is making his fourth appearance at state and is in by far his best position going into the final round.
“I wish I could take back those two holes,” said Prater, who will play the same course Tuesday. “But I’m happy that I’m not sleeping on the lead. I can just go tomorrow and let everything go. It’s my final high school round and there’s no reason to hold anything back.”
Meanwhile, for the first time this season Cheyenne Mountain left the golf course looking up at someone else in the team standings.
But the deficit is not insurmountable for the Indians at the 4A tournament at the Links at Cobble Creek in Montrose.
The Indians top three scores totaled 226 on Monday, putting them in a tie with Silver Creek for third place in the team race, seven shots behind Valor Christian and six back of Pueblo South at the halfway point of the 36-hole tournament that will conclude Tuesday.
In the individual race, Cheyenne Mountain’s Wilson Belk is the top area 4A player through the first round at 2-over 74. The sophomore is in a two-way tie for 10th and trails leader Jacob Allenback of Pueblo Centennial by six shots. Allenback has a three-shot cushion after opening with a 68.
The other local golfers in the 4A top 30 after 18 holes were Cheyenne Mountain’s Cole Anderson (tied for 13th at 75) and Dan Belk (tied for 20th at 77), and Mesa Ridge’s Braden Bentley and Vista Ridge’s Dylan Hall, who were in a tie for 28th at 78.
Prater was the only local 5A player in the top 30 and, in 3A, Drew Mendoza of Manitou Springs and Christian Monett of Florence were tied for 10th and eight strokes back after shooting 78 on Monday at Pinehurst Country Club in Denver. The Mustangs’ Trevor Hunt was one shot behind them.
Cheyenne Mountain’s six-shot deficit amounts to two strokes per golfer. To put into perspective the typical per-round swing for high school golfers, Allenback shot a 75 at the regional hosted by Cheyenne Mountain — six shots behind Wilson Belk and five behind Anderson – and improved by seven strokes on Monday. So the race is still wide open.
The race in 5A is also open, as Grand Junction’s Donny Kinnaman leads the way at 72. Palmer coach Jason Kohl is excited about the possibilities after watching Prater cruise around the course with the exception of two holes.
“Those were things we can easily fix tomorrow,” Kohl said. “It should be interesting.”
5A state championship, day one
At Rolling Hills Country Club (par 71)
Through Monday’s first round, tournament will conclude with 18 holes on Tuesday.
1. Donny Kinnaman, Grand Junction 72
T2. Jack Pedersen, Ralston Valley 74
T2. Neil Tillman, Ralston Valley 74
T4. Kyler Dunkle, Douglas County 75
T4. Devyn Solano, Grandview 75
T4. Colin Prater, Palmer 75
T35. Ben Tarasiewicz, Rampart 81
T49. Garrett Frye, Pine Creek 84
T53. Arden Bevere, Pine Creek 85
T63. Alex Gumper, Palmer 88
76. Brent Whiting, Pine Creek 92
4A State ChampionShip, Day one
At The Links at Cobble Creek (par 72)
1. Jacob Allenback, Pueblo Centennial 68
T2. Andrew Howe, Silver Creek 71
T2. Dylan Mitchell, Summit 71
T2. Glenn Workman, Pueblo West 71
5. Chase Frederico, Pueblo South 72
T10. Wilson Belk, Cheyenne Mountian 74
T13. Cole Anderson, Cheyenne Mountain 75
T20. Dan Belk, Cheyenne Moutain 77
T28. Dylan Hall, Vista Ridge 79
T28. Braden Bentley, Mesa Ridge 79
T33. Isaac Petersilie, Coronado 80
T33. Justin Watson, Sand Creek 80
T44. Austin Burgess, Coronado 82
T44. Lucas Rockwell, Air Academy 82
T44. Alex Freimuth, Cheyenne Mountain 82
T51. Cale Brandt, Palmer Ridge 83
T51. Michael Kear, Canon City 83
T61. Jacob Trujillo, Discovery Canyon 86
T64. Logan Bryson, Lewis-Palmer 87
T78. Dwayne Skolski, Canon City 92
T82. Zach Pape, AIr Academy 95
3A state championship, day one
At Pinehurst Country Club (par 70)
T1. Ben Moore, Kent Denver 70
T1. Ethan Freeman, Kent Denver 70
T3. Dylan Jirsa, Estes Park 74
T3. Robby Bowles, Vail Christian 74
5. Jack Cummings, Faith Christian 75
T10. Drew Mendoza, Manitou Springs 78
T10. Christian Monett, Florence 78
T17. Trevor Hunt, Manitou Springs 79
T20. Thomas Mullett, Florence 80
T36. Noah Shin, TCA 85
T46. Caleb Cole, Florence 86
56. Michael Raab, CSS 90
T62. Davis Cagle, CSS 94
T69. Lucas Luchina, Manitou Springs 96
T74. Jacob Patch, Florence 97
T76. Jimmy Velten, St. Mary’s 98
79. Michael Polkow, CSCS 104
80. Trevor Schott, Fountain Valley 106
81. David Walter, CSCS 109
T82. Corey Craddock, CSCS 110
84. Adam Newell, Fountain Valley 111