Montezuma-Cortez’s Thayer Plewe finished second at the 2021 3A state boys golf tournament, played at Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth.
Plewe shot a 67 on Monday and was in first place after one day of action.
Plewe carded five birdies, as well as an eagle on the par five 18th, while also tallying a pair of bogies to finish with a five-under 67. He was two strokes ahead of second place Connor Downey of Vail Christian, but six strokes ahead of the next five golfers.
On Tuesday, however, Plewe shot a 73 while Downey shot a 70 to overtake the Panther and win the state title by a single stroke, 139-140.
Aspen’s Nic Pevny shot a 142 to place third and lead the Skiers to the team title.
As a team, the Panthers were in third place after day one with a 230, but slid to sixth with a 234 on Tuesday.
Aspen won the title with a 447, four shots better than Colorado Academy.
Vince Lopez shot an 80 in the first round and a 78 in the second round to place 25th for Cortez. Kaden Huff shot an 83 both days to place 47th in the 84-golfer field.
In the class 4A state championships, played at City Park Golf Course in Denver, Durango High School’s Zachary Griswold hit 21 of the 36 greens.
“That’s really solid for a high school sophomore,” said DHS head coach Kirk Rawles.
Driving, Griswold only missed two fairways at state.
The greens, however, gave Griswold, and the rest of the field, troubles. Griswold ended up shooting an 82 on the first day of the tournament and then an 85 on Tuesday to place 63rd in the 84-golfer field.
“He played solid from tee to green, but couldn’t figure out the greens,” Rawles said. The coach said Griswold played a practice round at the course over the weekend, shooting a career-low of 78. For the state tournament, however, Rawles said they sped up the greens and also moved the pins to some difficult locations.
“They had some ridiculous pin placements,” Rawles said. “The tricked up greens made it really difficult for him and the full field.”
While Griswold struggled to find the right speed on the greens, he played well the rest of the time.
“If his ball striking stays the same, he’ll be in great shape his junior and senior years,” Rawles said.
Griswold was the only DHS golfer to compete at state. Many of the Demons concluded their seasons at the Four Corners JV Championships, which Durango hosted last Wednesday.
The Demons had 29 of its 42 golfers compete in the JV championship at the Hillcrest Golf Club.
“That was great for us to host that and have that many golfers who wanted to participate,” Rawles said.
The JV tournament used a stable point system, awarding five points for an eagle, four for birdies, three for pars, two for bogies and one for double bogies on the 18 holes.
Montrose’s Blake Highland won with 49 points while seven Demons finished in the top-10.
Jackson Orndoroff led the team with a 45, followed by Mason O’Bannon (44), Finn Carithers (43), Nicholas Best (42), Griswold (42), Cole Ulrich (41) and Justin Neubert (41).
“With 42 golfers, I’m optimistic about what the future holds,” Rawles said, adding that part of the team’s platform is to make the golfers enjoy their time playing the sport.
Griswold, meanwhile, proved that in high school golf, it’s not how you start, but how you finish that really matters.
“(Zach) was slow getting out of the gate and didn’t make it out of the qualifiers to travel, but once he got a feel for it, he ended well qualifying for state,” Rawles said. “It was his first volley at state and all in all it was a really positive experience.”