Local Junior Roundup

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.

For scores from the Colorado Springs Junior, click on the following: BOYS, GIRLS.

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.

Here are the results for all the Coloradans who competed Miami, including those from Phase 2 and Phase 1:


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