COLORADO SPRINGS — Greg Lewis was at worst in a ho-hum mood as he strode up the 18th during the Cheyenne Mountain Invite on Monday.
For much of the day, the Lewis-Palmer junior had been at or under par. With the wind whipping on the 17th tee box his shot was perfect in terms of distance, but well off in terms of line. By the time he cleared the green he had made a double-bogey. He would bogey 18 to shoot a 3-over-par 74 which was still good enough to get the win.
Putting the ball in the water, while unfortunate, wasn't a day killer. And really, he wasn't even that mad about the shot.
"The distance was right on," Lewis said as he strode to his ball just left of the 18 fairway. "I just pushed it a little right. Live and learn, I guess."
Live and learn is something he tries to live by on the golf course. And that lesson reared its ugly head on the final day of the Class 4A boys golf state tournament last year. In hindsight, no one was going to beat Montrose's Micah Stangebye on his home course. But the race for second turned out to be an exciting one. And Lewis was right there.
On his approach to the 18th green his ball found nothing but water. So he hit another one and that too splashed short of the green.
He took an eight on the final. Double-bogey would've tied him for second meaning bogey or better and he would've ended the week in solo second.
Live and learn, he guesses.
"That moment is not only one that I haven't gotten over, but it's one that I learned from and I'm really trying to learn from," Lewis said. "That was a heartbreaking moment. I had a really good string and I was making a run. Then something like that happens and it stinks. But I live and learn from those incidents."
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More than that, he uses those incidents to fuel his drive to win. He stumbled for a minute at the Doherty Spartan Invite and finished 12th but turned things around last week when he got his first win of the season at the Liberty Lancer Invite at King's Deer. His win Monday at the Country Club of Colorado makes it two in his last two events.
This is the golf he wants and expects to play on a regular basis. Stangebye is gone from Montrose and a talented crop of 4A golfers return. Discovery Canyon's Kaden Ford, Northfield's Hunter Swanson and Pueblo West's Noah Wagner all finished in the top 10 last year with Lewis and all are hoping to better their position.
But in his mind, Lewis has a bit of an edge. He knows how it feels to be in the mix and get tripped up. And the more he thinks about it, the more he's pushing himself to succeed because of how that experience at the Bridges ended for him.
"That moment humbled me," Lewis said. "I know I can be better that. That's my drive that I take into every tournament. I want to be a better me and a better golfer."