BOULDER — On a brisk Monday afternoon at the beautiful Boulder Country Club, Eaton senior Peter Grossenbacher found himself in the lead of the Class 3A boys golf state tournament.
Shooting 5-under on the tournament's first day, Grossenbacher's two-shot lead over Kent Denver senior Jackson Klutznick was immensely earned. But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Grossenbacher, who bogeyed two of his first three holes, and was 1-over through the front nine.
His back nine score of 29 (6-under) included an eagle on the 12th hole to spark a unbelievable surge.
"Today was a total blast," Grossenbacher said. "On 12 I took a very aggressive line, hit a pitching wedge close and made eagle. After that eagle, my mom told me I was in the lead."
The top of the leaderboard is tight. Aspen junior Jack Pevny (2-under) and Telluride senior Carlo Pine (even) find themselves right in the thick of things. Prospect Ridge junior Walker Franklin is in fifth at 1-over.
"It's very exciting to be in it," Pevny said. "It just shows you all of your hard work paying off. Definitely have grinded for the last two weeks to get ready for this. I think I need to play the same way I did today, tomorrow. I made some mistakes on the greens, but sticking to the game-plan by hitting the middle of the green is a focus and I’ll just go from there."
Pevny's team, Aspen, currently leads the team category of the tournament at 4-over par. Kent Denver follows at 5-over as third place for now is Holy Family at 15-over.
Telluride has just one player at state, but after a consistent afternoon, Pine finds himself with a chance as Day 2 approaches.
"It was a pretty solid day," Pine said. "My wedge game was a little off, but my putting kept things together, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get the wedges a little closer and keep the putting and be under par."
Pine's lead held up at 1-under for most of the afternoon until Grossenbacher claimed the lead at 2-under following his eagle.
The leader's golf partner, Klutznick kept pressure on, especially late in the round. With the two golfers at the top of the leaderboard, Tuesday's final round is likely to bring more competitiveness between these two, who will be grouped together once again.
"We started feeding off of each other's birdies and before I knew it, I was 5-under with two to play," Grossenbacher said. "He also eagled 12, so after we both made those eagles, I told him I might have a skin there. I wasn't very happy when I saw him make a putt, but it was fun to see the motivation we put on each other. He's a very awesome sportsman."
What was well known by all golfers leaving Monday afternoon: there is still another day.
"At the end of the day, whoever plays better tomorrow is what it all comes down to," Klutznick said. "He (Grossenbacher) played great today, and if he plays like that again, it will be hard to do anything, but I'm going to try and keep it going."
After accomplishing a tournament round career-low by four shots, Grossenbacher looks to become the first individual from Eaton to win the state boys golf championship, and he's looking forward to the opportunity.
"It would mean the world to me to pull it out tomorrow," he said. "I have put just so much preparation into this. Visualizing it even since freshman year when I'm practicing chipping and putting thinking, "I need to get this this down for state,' so I've been waiting for this moment."