Colorado high school golf alums preparing for tough competition at Colorado Open

5A boys state golf Davis Bryant Eaglecrest

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Eaglecrest alum Davis Bryant is no stranger to Green Valley Ranch Golf Club. The 2017 Class 5A boys golf champion practically grew up on the course and even volunteered at the course during the annual Colorado Open Golf Tournament.

Now he's poised to attack the course as a player in that very same tournament. Bryant is among several Colorado high school golf alums ready to take on the biggest annual tournament in Colorado. Like most golfers this summer, competitive tournaments have not been as plentiful as they have in years past.

Bryant is hoping to return to Colorado State with a competitive battle under his belt and the Colorado Open is the best level of competition that he'll get to see.

"I obviously want to play well," Bryant said. "I don't want to go out there shoot 75 a couple of times and miss the cut. If I can use this right way and build off the people that are supporting I can take advantage of this."

Each player in the field feels that way, especially the amateur players that grew up playing golf in Colorado.

Colin Prater. (Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Among the other Colorado high school alums playing in the Colorado Open are Griffin Barela (Lakewood), Jack Castiglia (Lakewood), Brennan Dolan (Fairview), Jackson Klutznick (Kent Denver), Joshua McLaughlin (Thompson Valley), AJ Ott (Fort Collins), Kyle Pearson (Highlands Ranch), Colin Prater (Palmer), Beau Schoolcraft (Kent Denver), Jackson Solem (Silver Creek), Marcus Tait (Columbine) and Dylan Wonnacott (Silver Creek).

The field is also packed with notable names around Colorado, especially within the golf world. Jefferson Academy alum Jennifer Kupcho will also be teeing it up and after conquering the boys' club at Augusta National last spring, she's embarked on a professional career. Her first professional win came earlier this summer at the Colorado Women's Open.

Fort Collins resident Sam Saunders, the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer is in the field along with Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus.

The real key to the event are the older players that can inspire someone like a young Davis Bryant. He can remember working the event as a volunteer and being amazed when he saw what some of the players can do.

"I remember I saw a guy from Arizona way back in the day, probably 10 years ago and he hit a golf shot on hole No. 13, the par 3, and I had no idea how he did what he did with a golf ball," Bryant said. "Now I can hit a similar golf shot, maybe nothing that good, but I just remember picking up on things. Watching them and watching how they handled themselves."

Everyone is looking to someone close to help them through the event. Each player might turn to a friend or family member to provide caddy support. Bryant is turning to his father, Matt, the general manager at GVR.

"He's going to talk to me about some yardages," Bryant said. "Not club choice per se but but he's also going to help me on the mental side to keep my mind off golf."

Bryant, Ott and the rest of the Colorado high school alums begin play at Green Valley Ranch on Thursday with the final round being played on Sunday.

Highlands Ranch alum Kyle Pearson. (Morgan Dzak/CHSAANow.com)