PUEBLO — Colorado Academy’s Caroline Jordaan has two top-three finishes in state golf tournaments. Early Monday morning, she looked determined to the win that has eluded her the last two seasons.
She shot a 3-under-par-68 to hold a one-shot lead over Holy Family’s Hailey Schalk, the defending Class 3A state champion.
Schalk’s round started a little rough as she missed two of Elmwood Golf Course’s first three fairways of the day. She recovered on the back nine which included going 3-under over her last four holes.
“I wasn’t really executing simple shots,” Schalk said. “I bogeyed three of the four par 3s which killed me. Other than that, I think played okay. I didn’t play great.”
For her part, Jordaan was consistent through the majority of the day. She made birdie on three of the first five holes and then rattled off 10 straight pars. Her first hiccup came on the 15th green when her birdie putt caught the right edge of the cup a little too hot leading to a par. Schalk made a birdie on 15, the start of her strong run to end the round.
“That was kind of frustrating,” Jordaan said. “I hit a good putt, I just hit it too hard. Then the next hole I almost made an eagle, but it was still a tap-in birdie. I wasn’t too discouraged after that.”
She nearly finished her round bogey free, but just missed another short putt. Schalk birdied the 18th hole to cut Jordaan’s lead to just one stroke ahead of Tuesday’s final round.
“That wasn’t how I wanted to finish, but 17 holes without a bogey is good,” Jordaan said.
This won’t be like last year where Schalk opened her tournament a 65 and was able to cruise to a state championship in her freshman year.
If she is going to repeat, she’s going to have to do come from behind and eliminate her mistakes from Monday.
“Last year I definitely played more conservatively (on the second day) just because of my lead,” Schalk said. “This year I’m just going to attack it as much as I can.”
Kent Denver grabbed the team lead, ending the day at 30-over. Defending team champion Colorado Academy sits six strokes behind and was led by Jordaan and her younger sister Marie, a sophomore.
Sophomore Charlotte Hillary led the Sun Devils, shooting a 75 on the day. She knows that if she and her teammates are going to unseat the Mustangs, they have to remain focused on having great individual rounds and not try to guess as to what’s happening with the other teams.
“The most important thing for us to do is stay focused individually on our own game,” Hillary said. “We have to go shot by shot and not worry too much about what Colorado Academy might be doing or what Jefferson Academy might be doing. We have to play steady golf like we did today.”
The final round of the tournament will be held Tuesday morning with the first groups going off at 8:30 a.m.