MONTROSE — Micah Stangebye is the ultimate hustler when it comes to invite others into his home and beating them at his game.
This week, The Bridges served as his home. And golf was his game. And his two rounds in the Class 4A boys golf state tournament will be the talk of the club's members for years to come.
Stangebye put together a round of 5-under-par 66 to go with Monday’s 67. It was a good enough week that he won his second straight state championship while he and his Montrose teammates celebrated a third consecutive title.
“Obviously it was an advantage being able to play this course every day this summer,” Stangebye said. “You know where you can miss it and where you can’t. You know how the putts break and overall I probably hit the ball better than I have any tournament this year starting on the first hole and all the way to the 18th green.”
On Monday he made just one birdie on the entire front nine. He didn’t wait that long to get going on Tuesday. After Discovery Canyon’s Kaden Ford made a birdie on No. 2 to cut Stangebye’s lead to two strokes, the defending champion got going. He made a birdie on No. 3 and then kept getting look after look.
Something coach Dave Woodruff talked about after Monday’s round was that he wanted his team to really take its time and appreciate everything that would happen on Tuesday. That message was received for Stangebye as he rushed a short birdie putt on No. 6 and missed it left. On the par-3 seventh, he missed the green to the right but made a fantastic up and down to keep his tournament bogey-free.
“The winner is always going to be the guy with the smallest misses,” Stangebye said. “It came down to me having only one bogey in 36 holes.”
That came on the par-3 12th when flew the green and had little room to work with when trying to get on.
But he rebounded with a birdie on 13.
Meanwhile, his teammates were doing what they needed to do to ensure that the team came away with its desired three-peat.
“Everyone says it’s hard to win at home,” Woodruff said. “You have the crowd and all your fans here. Ryan Lords, our other senior stepping up and making all-state, finishing top-10 was huge.”
Lords finished the tournament 5-over while Jordan Jennings finished 9-over.
The leaderboard was stacked with players that will be returning next year. Ford, a junior, finished in a tie for second with Northfield sophomore Hunter Swanson. Lewis-Palmer sophomore Gregory Lewis finished fourth.
Palisade senior Ethan Aubert finished fifth at 3-over and Cheyenne Mountain senior Gabe Marmon finished 4-over to come in sixth.
The next couple of years are shaping up to be very competitive for the 4A field.
“Knowing how close I was to winning, it motivates me and lets me know I can win. I can do this this,” Ford said.
Pueblo West, behind a strong performance from freshman Noah Wagner, finished second as a team. All four Cyclones golfers will return next season.
The conclusion of the state golf tournaments marks the beginning of fall championship season. And the tales that will come out of Montrose will live on for years. Bridges general manager Eric Feely made sure that his tournament – and unofficially the start of championship season – started with the biggest party of the fall.