BOULDER – A rough first round spoiled her freshman debut at the 2017 state tournament but Regis Jesuit sophomore Katie Berrian was dialed in on Day 1 of this spring’s Class 5A girls golf state championships.
On Monday at Boulder Country Club, Berrian got off to a hot start and reached as low as 3-under in her first eight holes before eventually turning in a 2-under 70 to finish the opening round as the clubhouse leader with a one-stroke lead on University of Colorado-bound Fairview senior Kelsey Webster.
“I was feeling really confident coming into today,” Berrian said. “It’s a beautiful day, I’ve been hitting the ball really great and putting well so I felt like I could be really aggressive with it. That really helped me. I’m going to go home and I’m going to rest and just take tomorrow slow and easy and try to feel comfortable.”
With Berrian leading the way, Regis Jesuit is ahead in the team scoring with 240 combined strokes going into Tuesday. The Grandview Wolves, who won the 5A team title in 2016, are just one stroke behind in second place. Cherry Creek will also be in the running on Day 2 with 243 strokes.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of older brother Davis Bryant, who won the 5A boys title as a senior last fall, Eaglecrest freshman Emma Bryant finished Day 1 at 1-over and in third place.
When the lead group tees off on No. 1 at 9:58 a.m. on Tuesday, it will include a sophomore, a senior and a freshman, each of whom appears capable of winning the individual title.
“I was kind of nervous in the very beginning because it’s my first state and everything,” Bryant said. “Once I got that first tee shot out of the way, I got the ball rolling. I just wanted to hit fairways, hit greens and control what I can control. My brother told me just to play my own game and don’t play the competitors’ or you’ll just get inside your head and everything’s just going to fall off. So I’ll just do my absolute best and after that, there’s nothing I can do.”
Through 15 holes on Monday, Berrian, Webster and Bryant were all tied up at 2-under.
Webster bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 before ending her round with a birdie on the par-5 18th. Bryant was at 1-under going into the final hole but doubled No. 18. Berrian bogeyed No. 17 but birdied the 18th to get back to 2-under.
After Monday’s top three, there will be an intriguing four-way tie for fourth place to open play on Tuesday.
Amy Chitkoksoong became Grandview’s first girls golf state champion last season but couldn’t get below par at any point on Monday and finished 3-over.
Highlands Ranch’s Jenna Chun, who lost a playoff and finished runner-up to Chitkoksoong last season, was 2-under through six holes but also finished 3-over.
Broomfield sophomore transfer Meghan Vogt, who tied for seventh in 3A while playing for Holy Family last season, four-putted No. 18 to also finish 3-over and will tee it up with 5A’s reigning top two at 9:48 a.m. on Tuesday.
Cherry Creek’s Payton Canon, who placed sixth last season, also finished 3-over on Monday.
The 5A state championships will conclude with the final round on Tuesday. The first group will tee off at 8 a.m.