3A girls golf: Colorado Academy takes Day 1 lead as Caroline Jordaan goes title hunting

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

EAGLE — Caroline Jordaan is in a very familiar spot after the first day of the Class 3A girls state golf tournament. A three-time runner-up (once in 4A and twice in 3A), Jordaan has the 18-hole lead at Eagle Ranch Golf Course after shooting a 1-under-par-71.

Through chilly temperatures and periods of moderate rainfall, the Colorado Academy senior played about as consistent as she could have hoped. She hit 15 greens in regulation and hit 34 putts in her round.

“That’s a lot,” Jordaan said.

But she still came out four strokes ahead of Jefferson Academy’s Aubri Braecklein and Kent Denver’s Charlotte Hillary, who each shot a 75.

Jordaan was leading after the first day of the 2018 tournament at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo, but eventually lost to Holy Family’s Hailey Schalk.

Her experience both playing and sitting at or near the top of the leaderboard has made the state tournament a more relaxed environment for her this year.

“It definitely gets easier every year,” she said. “It helps that I have a really strong and we have always worked hard all year and when we get to state just try to get it done.”

The Mustangs are getting it done in the team race. Eva Pett shot 79 and Marie Jordaan, Caroline’s younger sister, shot 80. Colorado Academy sits in first place at 14-over as a team. Kent Denver is in second at 27-over.

One of the biggest benefits for coach Beth Folsom is that she knows that Caroline Jordaan will go out and shoot a good number allowing her focus to shift to the other members of the team to try and keep the team scores low enough to be in contention for the team championship.

“I don’t spend very much time with Caroline on the course because I pretty much know what she’s going to do,” Folsom said. “She knows what she’s going to do so that gave me a chance on some of the more challenging holes to be up with some of our other players.”

The biggest challenge for Colorado Academy – and all players – was the weather. Despite solid rainfall in the morning, the tournament went off as scheduled and all players completed 18 holes. Should conditions deteriorate to the point where the course is unplayable on Tuesday, Monday’s round will count as the full tournament.

Nevertheless, Jordaan is anxious to get back to the course so she can put a memorable cap on her high school golf career and claim the 2019 state title.

“That would be nice, honestly,” she said. “Whatever happens, I’ll be good with it because I’ve had four great years of high school. But I’d love to take home the individual title. That’d be great.”

When Jordaan tees off on Tuesday, she’ll be grouped with the same players as she was on Monday as she, Braecklein and Hillary sit in the top three spots on the leaderboard.

The plan for Day 2 of the 3A tournament is to start as scheduled. Overnight weather could cause issues, but a decision to delay or cancel – if needed – will be made at 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday.