GUNNISON — Through the course of the entire back nine on Tuesday at the Dos Rios golf club, Aspen's Nic Pevny hit just a single fairway. And he made bogey on the hole.
Fairways and greens are often preached as the keys to shooting a solid round, but with the way Pevny played to capture Aspen's first Class 3A boys golf individual champion fairways are overrated.
Pevny finished his round shooting an even-par 71 to end his tournament at 2-under total, good enough to be the last man standing.
"The front, I wasn't hitting my approach shots too well but I got out of there at 2-under so I was happy," Pevny said.
He should be. He opened the day just one shot ahead of Montezuma-Cortez's Thayer Plewe. They both made bridie on No. 1 but Pevny stuck his tee shot on two and stretched his lead out to two strokes.
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A two shot swing on the next hole tied the two at the top of the leaderboard. Plewe hit the flagstick on No. 3 and tapped in for birdie while Pevny lipped out a near gimme.
On No. 6, Plewe, a lefty, pushed his drive left while Pevny pounded driver down the relatively tight fairway. Pevny made birdie while Plewe made bogey and the two-shot lead for the Aspen junior.
On the back, he shot 2-over but hit two definitive shots that locked up his championship. He made a clutch 10-foot birdie putt to make par on 14 and stuck his second shot on the par-5 16th to about 20 feet for eagle. At that point, he knew the championship was well within his grasp.
"I had that up-and-down which kind of got the round back. That was really big, that up-and-down," Pevny said. "I knew (after 16) that if I just made pars, that if I made par on 17, it was probably over."
As Pevny was busy holding on to his individual lead, Colorado Academy was busy taking over the team race. The Mustangs entered the day in second place behind Kent Denver which didn't bother them a bit. Rather than dealing with the pressure of holding onto a lead, they had the freedom to chase it down and it was a challenge they happily accepted.
"There was a part of not being in first that was nice," coach Beth Folsom said. "The expectation wasn't out there for us to hold it. We just had to make up some ground."
Sophomore JT Timmers led the way and completely took apart the back nine at Dos Rios. He made birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 16 and only bogeyed 18. He ended his day with a 72 and finished in 7th place.
The key for the Mustangs was Timmers and really everyone, just not allowing mistakes to derail the team title hunt early.
"Bo (Turnage) got a par on the first hole which he doubled yesterday," Timmers said. "On the back, Jack (Pashel) and I were just feeling like it was going to be a good day. We were playing well coming into this tournament. We all held it together."
Pashel shot a 74, Turnage shot a 76 and TJ Giordano shot an 86 to help the Mustangs claimed their first boys golf team championship in school history.