Look out 4A girls' golf world. Kylee Sullivan almost feels like herself again.
"I don't know if I'm quite 100 percent yet, but I'm definitely getting back," said Sullivan, who helped Cheyenne Mountain win the school's first 4A state team golf championship last May. "Getting mono kind of sucks, but I'm definitely getting back to feeling better. It makes you so tired, but you just have to keep pushing and fighting through."
Sullivan, a junior dogged earlier by a sprained ankle and, more recently, a bout with mononucleosis, shot a 2-over-par 72 on Tuesday, topping the individual leaderboard and pacing Cheyenne Mountain to the team title at the annual Coronado Cougar Classic at Kissing Camels Golf Course.
At the season opener March 17 at Valley Hi Golf Course, a sick Sullivan ground out an 81, good for third overall. She finished third again April 10 at the Terror Invite at Patty Jewett Golf Course, finishing six shots off the pace and looking tired doing so.
Not so Tuesday at Kissing Camels. Sullivan started out strong, birdieing No. 4 and finishing 1-over at the turn. Despite three bogeys in a span of five holes on the back nine, Sullivan bounced back late with birdies on two of her last four, including a 15-footer to end the day in style.
"I'm shocked that she did that," said playing partner Mary Kate Nelson, a Pine Creek senior. "I'm definitely proud of her for getting through mono and everything. She's so strong. On the last hole, she said she was going to drain that putt, and she putts it in for birdie. Well done."
Sullivan finished with a four-shot bulge over Air Academy sophomore Kelsey McKenna, who had previous individual titles at Valley Hi and Patty Jewett. Nelson and Cheyenne Mountain senior Stephanie Weber shot 83.
Next, in between girls from much larger schools, stood freshman Sarah Hwang of St. Mary's (enrollment of 332), who finished fifth with an 87 to continue her amazingly consistent rookie season.
Not bad for someone who picked up a golf club for the first time two years ago and made her debut with previous rounds of 85 and 87.
"The fact that she's only in her second year as a golfer has me floored," Pirates coach John Krause said. "To find natural talent in this game, that quick, is just amazing. She automatically seems to know how hard to hit her chips and her putts. Those are things you can't really teach. And she's all about the game, much more than worrying about everybody else and what they're doing."