LITTLETON — Nothing like a short putt for eagle to really spark an impressive round on the golf course.
Lakewood senior Ryan Liao — three-time Class 5A boys golf state qualifier — drained an eagle putt on the 517-yard, par 5 to finish his front-nine to really get his round going. The eagle on No. 9 was followed up with back-to-back birdies on No. 10 and 11 to get Liao to 5-under-par through his first 11 holes.
Liao eventually finished with a 6-under-par, 66 to win individual medalist title in the second Class 5A Jeffco League tournament of the Fall season at Raccoon Creek Golf Course. He was the lone golfer to shoot under-par.
The Tigers finished eight strokes ahead of league-leading Ralston Valley in the second of six league tournaments. Ralston Valley’s Jordan McCaslin, Gage Messingham, Trey Kirschner, Jack Larson and Logan Forister all fired rounds in the 70s to keep the Mustangs atop the overall team standings in 5A.
Liao did overtake Arvada West senior Tyler Tyson for the overall individual lead in 5A Jeffco. Tyson followed up his impressive 63 last week at Applewood Golf Course with a round of 2-over-par, 74 on Monday.
On the 4A Jeffco side, Green Mountain seniors Oliver Gibbons (74) and Jack Policaro (76) finished 1-2 at Raccoon Creek. Gibbons and Policaro are also 1-2 in the overall individual 4A Jeffco standings. Conifer senior Dakota Dolph slipped into third place after an 81 on Monday.
Green Mountain holds a 16-stroke advantage over Evergreen in the race for the 4A Jeffco team title. Evergreen seniors Jake Dekoker (78) and Jack Mitchell (79) led the way for the Cougars.
The third Jeffco League tournament is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Broken Tee Golf Course in Littleton.