Some of state’s most decorated junior golfers make semifinals at CGA State Junior Championship
By Gary Baines – 6/22/2022
Two former teammates on the 5A state champion Arapahoe boys golf team advanced to the semifinals of the CGA State Junior Championship, while the girls final four includes the 2021 Colorado girls player of the year and a two-time 5A state high school champ.
That’s how things shook out on Wednesday as the round of 16 and the quarterfinals were contested at Aurora-based CommonGround Golf Course, which is owned and operated by the CGA.
Thursday’s boys semifinals will feature Matthew Wilkinson of Centennial vs. Dylan Everett of Highlands Ranch, and Tyler Long of Evergreen vs. Will Kates of Centennial. Wilkinson, an incoming Colorado State University golfer, has won three Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado major titles, while Kates has claimed two 5A individual state high school championships. They were teammates at Arapahoe, the reigning 5A team champ.
In the girls semifinals, it will be Katelyn Lehigh of Loveland against Kaitlin Zingler of Lakewood, and Lily Nelson of Commerce City vs. Kaylee Chen of Parker. Chen was the 2021 JGAC Girls Player of the Year, while Lehigh recently won her second straight 5A girls state high school championship.
Like the other semifinalists, Wilkinson won twice on Wednesday. In his case, he scored two 2-and-1 victories — in the round of 16 over Wes Erling of Colorado Springs, the 2020 JGAC Tour Championship winner, and in the quarters over Talan Gover of Lafayette. Earlier in the day, Gover had ousted stroke-play medalist Max Zadvorny of Centennial — another Arapahoe High School golfer — 5 and 4.
In the quarterfinals, Kates topped Sawyer Sales of Boulder, 2 and 1. In the round of 16, Sales scored an improbable victory in 20 holes over Max Lange of Golden, winning the last four holes of regulation to extend the match. In those four holes, Sales went par on No. 15, birdie on 16, a hole-in-one at No. 17 and birdie at 18.
In the girls quarterfinals, Lehigh beat stroke-play medalist Ashleigh Wilson of Highlands Ranch, 1 up, after Wilson won the first two holes of the match. Chen defeated Chin, a two-time Drive, Chip & Putt National Finalist, 6 and 4. Zingler ousted Logan Hale of Erie, a semifinalist in last week’s CGA Women’s Match Play, 2 and 1.
Chen, winner of the 2019 Colorado Junior Amateur, has been the most dominant player in the match-play portion of the event, having won her three matches so far, 8 and 7, 7 and 5, and 6 and 4. But Nelson has been strong too, prevailing 8 and 7, 3 and 2, and 6 and 5.
For both the boys and the girls, Thursday morning’s semifinals will be followed by the finals in the afternoon.
CGA State Junior Championship at CommonGround GC
BOYS QUARTERFINALS ON WEDNESDAY
Matthew Wilkinson, Centennial, def. Talan Gover, Lafayette, 2 and 1
Dylan Everett, Highlands Ranch, def. Miles Atkinson, Timnath, 5 and 3
Tyler Long, Evergreen def. Grant Samuelson, Fort Collins, 8 and 6
Will Kates, Centennial def. Sawyer Sales, Boulder, 2 and 1
BOYS SEMIFINALS ON THURSDAY
Matthew Wilkinson, Centennial, vs. Dylan Everett, Highlands Ranch
Tyler Long, Evergreen, vs. Will Kates, Centennial
BOYS FINAL ON THURSDAY
GIRLS QUARTERFINALS ON WEDNESDAY
Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland, def. Ashleigh Wilson, Highlands Ranch, 1 up
Kaitlin Zingler, Lakewood def. Logan Hale, Erie, 2 and 1
Lily Nelson, Commerce City, def. Kylee Hughes, Eagle, 6 and 5
Kaylee Chen, Parker, def. Caitlyn Chin, Greenwood Village, 6 and 4
GIRLS SEMIFINALS ON THURSDAY
Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland, vs. Kaitlin Zingler, Lakewood
Lily Nelson, Commerce City, vs. Kaylee Chen, Parker
GIRLS FINAL ON THURSDAY
For all the results from the CGA State Junior, CLICK HERE.
To view photos from the event, CLICK HERE.