CARBONDALE — If someone had told Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo that he was going to end his day shooting a 5-under par 67 to take the lead at the Class 4A boys state golf tournament, he would've called them a liar.
But they would've been telling the truth.
Trujillo was four strokes better than last year's defending champion, Jackson Solem of Silver Creek. And the Thunder stormed into the overall team, shooting 4-under as a unit.
It was a nice little Monday at River Valley Ranch.
"I'm extremely happy," Trujillo said. "It's just tough the way that I finished."
A double-bogey on 17 and a bogey on 18 took three strokes off his score and putting Windsor's Cole Krantz within three strokes and four others, including Solem and Discovery Canyon teammate Owen Pasvogel within four.
Krantz found himself at 3-under at sinking a birdie on the seventh, but he gave the stroke right back on the par 3 eight. He started on hole 10 and finished his round on the front nine.
"You can't worry about what everyone else is doing," Krantz said. "I just have to play my game tomorrow and hopefully the putts go my way and everything falls my way tomorrow."
Trujillo's grew frustrated with the way he finished his round, but coach Mark Liggett knows that he can remain focused come Tuesday and make the shot he'll need to in order to get the win.
"He needs to know that he's the guy to beat," Liggett said. "He just needs to go out and play calm."
If anything will help him play calm it will be the 13-stroke lead that the Thunder hold after day one. With a supporting cast of Pasvogel who finished 1-under and Caleb Blackburn who finished 2-over, the Thunder are in a prime position to bring home a team championship.
And that cushion will help Trujillo play a little more aggressive while learning from the mistakes he made on Monday.
"Maybe I got greedy," he said. "Hitting that drive in the hazard on 17, I wanted to still give myself a chance to make a five and get a part. I hit a wedge too long and I three-putted."
And he still put up a final score that he had only shot once in his life.
The shot of the day at River Valley Ranch came on the par 3 third when Steamboat's Jack Rotermund sank a hole-in-one. It was the first ace of his life and left him with a big smile for the rest of his round.
The players will return to the course early on Tuesday to finish out the tournament and play for championship gold.
If the trend is anything like what it was on Monday and for a lot of the golf season, then the Thunder will be difficult to beat. They just have to overcome any nerves that they might have while holding the lead.
"It hit me at an unfortunate time that I'd be leading state by a lot," Trujillo said. "Our team didn't have any expectations to be leading state by 13 and we did that. Tomorrow we just have to make sure we don't get nervous."