GUNNISON — The back nine holes of Dos Rios Golf Club seem to be more gettable when looking at them. But for Aspen's Nic Pevny the battle plan was to attack the front, then just try to stay afloat on the back.
It wasn't his plan by design but that's how he executed it.
Pevny shot a 2-under-par 69 to take the Day 1 lead at the Class 3A boys golf state tournament. He was one of just two players to shoot under par as Montezuma-Cortez's Thayer Plewe shot 70 thanks to consistency on the back nine.
Pevny wasn't as consistent throughout his round but that was fine on his first nine holes. He made a bogey on the par-3 second before getting the stroke back with a birdie on No. 5. He ran out three straight pars before making a birdie on No. 8 and then making the turn after a big eagle on No. 9.
"I had a lot more wedges in on the front," Pevny said. "Those led to more birdie putts."
He started the back nine with a bogey on 10, nothing too considering as the 10th hole seemed to swallow a lot of golf balls during the course of the day. He got the stroke back with a birdie on 11 then played the last seven holes at 1-over with two bogeys and a birdie.
"On the back I wasn't hitting my tee shots very well," he said. "Tomorrow I think I'll be find on the back."
Despite those errant tee shots, Pevny's recovery shots were on point and even on bad holes he was giving himself par chances."
He took a two-shot lead into 18 where his ball was caught in between two tree trunks and right in the swing path of Strasburg's Jacob Gilbert. Pevny was able to mark his ball to allow Gilbert to make his swing and once he placed his ball back, he escaped from immediate trouble and his third shot carried the river in front of the green. He got up and down for bogey, closing his round with the confidence that trouble doesn't necessarily mean doom.
"I was making short putts and chipping pretty well," Pevny said. "I was just able to limit the damage."
His approach heading into Tuesday's final round won't be any different. He pointed to his front nine and said that he started his day just playing his game and he'll maintain that approach when he tees off in the final group.
Kent Denver has a one-stroke edge over Colorado Academy in the race for the team championship. The Sun Devils got a major boost from Jacob Dietrich who shot a life-best 72 to help the Sun Devils take the lead.
"I came in as the No. 4 seed and to do what I did was really special for me and my team," Dietrich said. "(Tomorrow) I just need to go out and go as low as I can."
Jeffery Zhou matched Dietrich's 72 while Brendan Archer shot a 78. Colorado Academy got a 72 from J.T. Timmers, a 74 from Jack Pashel and a 77 from Bo Turnage.
To avoid a frost delay that pushed tee times back on Monday, Tuesday's final round was pushed back to a 10 a.m. start time. The final groups would then be scheduled to tee off at 11:57 a.m.