COLORADO SPRINGS — For a few, brief moments on Monday, golfers competing at the Cheyenne Mountain Invite stopped focusing on golf and turned their attention to a natural phenomenon.
Monday’s much-hyped eclipse was a great reminder that life exists outside the athletic realm and sometimes, especially for high school kids, the sight of such a rare event can be a welcome distraction to those looking to remain competitive through the day.
“I actually thought it was kind of cool,” Discovery Canyon’s Luke Trujillo said. “It gave me something to talk about with the guys I was playing with and with the coaches. I guess when something bad goes wrong, (the eclipse) can get my mind off it.”
Trujillo came away with the win, shooting a one-under-par 70, winning his second tournament in a seven-day span. The Thunder also grabbed the team win, shooting 223 as a whole.
As the two seniors who came away with a state title last year, Trujillo and Caleb Blackburn know the feeling of coming away with a win, but doing iit during such a rare moment will hang with them for a long time.
“(The rarity of the eclipse) hit me a little bit, but I didn’t realize the gravity of it,” Blackburn said. “I think the eclipse, since it comes every 40 years, is such an amazing thing to happen. And to be able to play golf while the eclipse is out there is such a cool experience.”
And it was something that all golfers, regardless of score or level, could come together and enjoy. Often, players were seen hitting their shots and then while waiting for the others in the group to hit, throwing on their eclipse sunglasses to track the progress of the moon’s orbit relative to the sun.
“Our principal actually bought them for the entire school, so that was pretty neat,” TCA’s Ryan Beckman said. “They got handed out to every student.”
It seemed to be the norm for the kids at the Country Club of Colorado Springs. While the progress of the eclipse was being tracked as the tournament went on, when it was at its designated peak around 11:47 a.m., most golfers took a minute to put their bags down and take in the spectacle.
And the coaches were able to revel in the same moment. As much as the players weren’t completely focused on their next shots, the coaches were taking just as much time to gaze into the sky.
“One my assistants sent me a message and asked when the last time I was out golfing during an eclipse,” Falcon coach Greg Morris said. “The answer is never. And for these kids, it will never happen again, at least in their young lives.”