Coloradans Luke Cushman, Sofia Choi place 2nd in AJGA Colorado Springs Junior; Locals wrap up play at Optimist International
By Gary Baines – 7/29/2021
Coloradans finished runner-up — a stroke behind the champions — on Thursday in both the boys and girls competitions at the AJGA’s Colorado Springs Junior by Centura Health at The Club at Flying Horse’s Phil Smith Course.
Luke Cushman of Castle Rock, the co-leader going into the final round, ended up a stroke behind winner Camden Braidech of Scottsdale, Ariz. Cushman closed with a 3-over-par 75, making a pivotal double bogey on No. 16. He finished with three birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey in round 3.
Braidech, meanwhile, birdied the 18th hole for a 73 and the victory. He bogeyed three of the first four holes on Thursday, but chalked up five birdies the rest of the way, along with a bogey and a double bogey.
Earlier this month, Braidech finished fifth in the Colorado Junior Amateur.
Also posting a top-5 finish on the boys side was Max Lange of Golden, who tied for fourth at 214 (73-70-71).
Charlie Tucker of Castle Pines made a hole-in-one during the final round, acing the 15th hole from 216 yards with a 7-iron en route to a 75.
Meanwhile, in the girls tournament, Sofia Choi of Littleton tied for second, a stroke back of champion Bowen Lan of Irvine, Calif.
Choi had the best score among the girls on the final day by two strokes as she posted an even-par 72. She played her back nine in 2 under par after making a birdie, a bogey and a double bogey on the front side.
Choi, a member of the Colorado Girls Junior Americas Cup team, checked in at 7-over-par 223.
Lan closed with a 75, but made a birdie on the final hole to prevail after going bogey-double bogey-par-bogey her previous four holes.
Zoe Newell of Oro Valley, Ariz., the girls leader the first two days, tied for second with Choi after carding a final-round 79.
The Colorado Springs Junior by Centura Health is the second of three AJGA events being held in Colorado this year. The AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior was conducted last month at Walnut Creek in Westminster, while the AJGA Junior Open at The Bridges presented by the City of Montrose is set for Aug. 3-5.
Elsewhere in national and regional junior golf:
The third and final phase of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship at Trump National Doral in Miami ended Wednesday, with another 20-plus Colorado golfers competing.
Lily Nelson of Commerce City led the way for the local contingent in the girls 15-18 competition, placing 18th out of 88 players. Nelson went 77-75-79 for a 231 total.
The top Coloradan in the boys 16-18 division, which featured 132 players, was Jake Chesler of Firestone, who placed 26th. He posted scores of 84-76-70 for a 230 total.
Boys 16-18 (132-Player Field)
26. Jake Chesler, Firestone 84-76-70—230
33. John Williams, Parker 80-78-75—233
37. Charlie Flaxbeard, Greenwood Village 82-76-76—234
61. Colin Young, Highlands Ranch 79-80-80–239
61. Traejan Andrews, Greeley 79-79-81—239
MC. Ryan Peragallo, Highlands Ranch 85-78-78–241
MC. Jonathan Trigg, Cherry Hills Village 85-81-79–245
MC. Caleb Michaels, Louisville 82-87-82–251
MC. Jacob Gilbert, Watkins 79-87-85—251
MC. JT Timmers, Littleton 90-87-77–254
MC. Mathieu Zerwin, Lafayette 93-80-85—258
MC. Bielly Phasay, Commerce City 84-91-87–262
MC. Chandler Levy, Boulder 84-94-94–272
WD. Dylan Everett, Highlands Ranch 86-84-WD
Girls 15-18 (88-Player Field)
18. Lily Nelson, Commerce City 77-75-79—231
26. Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland 83-75-77–235
43. Kylee Hughes, Gypsum 84-79-80–243
44. Madeline Bante, Cherry Hills Village 78-79-88–245
44. Olivia Steen, Fort Collins 81-86-78–245
46. Timbre Shehee, Mead 84-82-80–246
MC. Elan Fleetwood, Parker 89-86-88–263
MC. Kaitlyn Park, Broomfield 89-103-105—297
PHASE 2 (Held Earlier in July)
Boys 14-15 (112-Player Field)
18. Austin Barry, Fort Collins 83-73-77–233
18. Nathan Kim, Castle Pines 78-79-76–233
28. Preston Allen, Pueblo West 81-77-78–236
32. Kyle Shaw, Denver 79-81-78—238
35. Spencer Schlagel, Parker 76-79-84–239
35. Will Balliet, Thornton 77-77-85–239
54. Donovan O’Brien, Erie 78-80-85–243
59. Aiden Sweeney, Commerce City 83-81-80—244
MC. Landon Houska, Fort Collins 81-85-81–247
MC. Mason Hill, Broomfield 85-85-79–249
MC. Jack Carter, Timnath 90-77-86–253
MC. Tiki Jaffe, Vail 82-91-81–254
MC. Kaden Devenport, Fort Collins 93-83-85–261
Girls 13-14 (62-Player Field)
23. Brenna Higgins, Centennial 80-79-87–246
29. Sophia Capua, Aurora 89-80-81–250
33. Kaitlyn Grommeck, Steamboat Springs 82-82-90–254
39. Kyndra Johnson, Salida 91-89-81–261
43. Ellie Barry, Fort Collins 92-90-84–266
51. Zoe Bar-Or, Centennial 94-91-94—279
51. Brynn Balliet, Thornton 89-100-90–279
PHASE 1 (Held Earlier in July)
Boys 12-13 (77-Player Field)
7. Gavin Amella, Castle Rock 73-82-71–226
19. Brayden Destefano, Peyton 78-75-82–235
24. Clint Summers III, Fort Collins 80-75-83–238
36. Andre Dumonteil, Centennial 82-77-84—243
43. Collen Todd, Golden 85-79-85–249
55. Campbell McFadden, Denver 86-85-85—256
55. Sean Cary, Erie 85-82-89–256
72. Will Sallee, Loveland 93-93-88—274
Boys 10-11 (41-Player Field)
15. Gage Poulsen, Timnath 85-87-80–252
17. Hudson Stutzman, Denver 89-82-85–256
25. Levi McDowell, Loveland 88-91-88–267
28. Jeffrey Chen, Aurora 92-88-96–276
30. Hudson Rozga, Eagle 91-98-89—278
31. Grady Anaka, Erie 93-97-92—282
34. Pierce Johnson, Boulder 98-96-95–289
35. Luke Armstrong, Castle Rock 95-105-97–297
Girls 10-12 (32-Player Field)
6. Addison Hines, Arvada 81-78-74–233
24. Ella Scott, Castle Rock 93-96-86–275