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Tee It High, Let It Fly

Coloradans win 3 of 4 boys long-drive contests at Optimist International Junior Golf Championship

By Gary Baines – 08/01/2019 

Colorado junior golfers apparently can hit the ball a long ways — and not only at altitude.

That’s one lesson that comes out of the just-completed Optimist International Junior Golf Championship, held at Trump National Doral in Miami.

In addition to the event featuring traditional competitions held for boys and girls in various age groups, there are long-drive contests. And out of the seven gender/age divisions, an eye-opening three were won by Coloradans. And Coloradans went three-for-four in the long-drive contests on the boys side.

Rhett Johnson of Littleton was the latest champion, coming in the last of the three phases of the event in Florida. Johnson hit a drive of 272 yards to win the boys 16-18 long drive. Oh, and by the way, the runner-up was also from Colorado, Christopher Kennedy of Aurora (268 yards).

Joining Johnson as Optimist International long-drive champions from Colorado were the previously-reported Gage Messingham of Arvada (298 yards in boys 14-15) and Gavin Amella of Castle Rock (242 yards in boys 10-11).

Meanwhile, here are how the Coloradans from the oldest age groups fared this week in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship:

BOYS 16-18 

18. Gavin Hagstrom, Windsor 74-75-75-74–298

22. Micah Stangbye, Montrose 74-70-79-77–300

34. Ryan Sangchompuphen, Denve 76-73-79-77–305

50. Jordan Jennings, Montrose 83-71-77-83–314

Missed 54-Hole Cut

Grant Hoos, Thornton 76-81-78–235

Christopher Kennedy, Aurora 80-78-77–235

Max Noffsinger, Greeley 81-82-76–239

Westin Pals, Castle Rock 85-74-81–240

Rhett Johnson, Littleton 81-81-82–244

Thomas Hicks, Greenwood Village 77-82-86–245

Tyler Tyson, Arvada 79-88-85–252

Blake Katt, Parker 81-82-89–252

Jack Garnsey, Denver 86088-80–254

Mario Dino, Denver 86-85-88–259

GIRLS 15-18

13. Kaylee Chen, Greenwood Village 73-79-73-81–306

28. Ashley Kozlowski, Littleton 80-74-80-81–315

34. Emma Bryant, Aurora 82-85-76-77–320

34. Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland 82-79-79-80–320

43. Katie Berrian, Castle Rock 83-84-77-81–325

Rachel Penzenstadler, Centennial 79-85-79-DNF

Missed 54-Hole Cut

Jessica Zapf, Windsor 86-79-81–246

Meghan Vogt, Broomfield 88-85-80–253

Morgan Ryan, Centennial 87-85-81–253

Katherine Malcolm, Parker 81-89-91–261

Grace Young, Highlands Ranch 84-97-91–272

For roundups on how Coloradans fared in the previous two phases of the Optimist, click on the following: PHASE I, PHASE II.