GOLDEN — Grandview's Amy Chitkoksoong made she shot she needed at the right time, and now she's the Class 5A girls golf individual champion.
Chitkoksoong, a senior who finished second last season, hit a near-perfect chip shot on the third playoff hole, then knocked down a bogey putt to seal her title. Highlands Ranch junior Jenna Chun finished second following a great round.
"My coaches told me there's only one way to go, and that's up," Chitkoksoong said. "Taking second last year, I was coming into the tournament with the mindset of aiming for first place."
Chitkoksoong's shot came on the par-4 12th hole, which she was playing for the third time in two days. She faced a similar chip in the first round on Monday, but "I rammed it past," she said.
"In my head, I was just telling myself to make sure I get it close, make sure to not let it go off that hill," Chitkoksoong said. "And so I was really calm chipping that, because I could see the ball roll in my head."
Chitkoksoong placed the chip, her third shot of the hole, within six feet. Chun's third shot, a putt, went long, and then her par attempt broke right just before the hole. Chitkoksoong also missed her par attempt, but then Chun missed her bogey putt.
By then, Chitkoksoong had a short putt to win the title. She sank it, and ran into the arms of her teammates to celebrate.
It was the end to a nerve-wracking few holes for Chitkoksoong.
"While I was playing the round, I started getting really nervous around 16," she said. "Then I heard there was a playoff, and each hole just got worse and worse. (Chun is) such a great player, and I fought until the end."
Ralston Valley won the team title with a total of 42-over. Rock Canyon (+51) was the runner-up. Grandview (+67), Arvada West (+69), and Fossil Ridge (+69) all earned top-5 finishes.
The Mustangs' Jordan Remley (+12), Lexi Mueldener (+14) and Sydney Eye (+16) had scoring rounds as the program won its first championship. Riley McKibbon (+27) also had a great round.
"This team is really a team. And they are just such good girls," said Ralston Valley coach Wendy Davies. "They worked hard for each other. Every time I would walk up, they would ask, 'How is everyone else doing?' Coming in at the end, they said, 'How many strokes do we need? Do I need to birdie?'"
Ralston Valley trailed by five strokes entering the day.
"It was phenomenal," Davies said. "Every single one of them played really well today."
The individual competition, meanwhile, had some extended drama.
Chitkoksoong entered the day three shots back of the Day 1 leader, Rock Canyon's Amelia Lee. She made a slow and steady climb toward the top, eventually taking the tournament lead midway through the afternoon when Lee bogeyed her 10th hole.
Lee and Chitkoksoong traded the lead for the rest of the day, but it was Chun who entered the clubhouse with the score to beat at 10-over. Chitkoksoong followed that shortly with a 10-over score of her own. Lee had a chance to match them, but missed a tough putt on the 18th green.
After a short break, Chitkoksoong and Chun stepped back onto the 10th tee to begin the playoff. They both bogeyed the 10th, and then made par on the 11th.
That set the stage for the dramatic finish to the 12th hole, and Chitkoksoong's chip for a championship.