Nerves take toll on Sailors at state tournament but Rotermund says he will never forget hole-in-one
Steamboat Springs — It wasn’t his best round of the season, but Steamboat Springs sophomore Jack Rotermund said he will never forget it.
On Monday, during the first round of the 4A Colorado High School State Golfing Championships, Rotermund hit a strong tee shot on a par-3 hole, which rolled over the ridge and out of sight. He left the tee box knowing it was good shot, but it wasn’t until a few of the coaches standing around the green started congratulating him that he realized the ball had gone into the hole.
“It’s crazy … It’s outrageous,” Rotermund said of hitting a hole-in-one at the state tournament. “I was shell shocked. I will never remember the round, but I will never forget hitting that hole-in-one.”
While the moment was memorable, the Sailors performance wasn’t as spectacular. Coach Andrew Donner said the team played well but nerves played a huge role in his players’ performances on the course over the two days in Carbondale.
“There is no question that our players were more nervous at the state tournament than they were at the regional tournament, and that was reflected in their scores,” Donner said. “We had some really big eyes on that first tee.”
As a team, Steamboat placed 10th in the field of nearly 40 teams. The tournament also field more than 80 players vying for titles at the event.
The Sailors were led by freshman Tommy Henninger, who placed 41st after shooting an eight-over par on the final day to finish at 80. The score was four strokes better than his effort Monday as he finished the 36-hole tournament with a final score of 164.
Nolan Sankey, who led the Sailors on the opening day, finished 47th after he shot an 82 on the last day to finish at 165. Rotermund also improved on the final 18 holes, finishing the day at 84 and finishing 54th in the tournament overall at 170.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team this year,” Donner said. “We only had two returning seniors, so this was a very new team. To start where we were at and finish with three guys at state — that was very positive.”
“The one thing we took away was experience,” Rotermund said. “I think that experience is going to make us better players and a better team next year. It’s still a long time from now, but I’m already looking forward to getting another shot.”
The individual state title came down to a battle between Discovery Canyon’s Luke Trujillo and Silver Creek’s Jackson Solem, who were tied at 140 after 18 holes.
Solem moved into the lead on the back nine but steady play by Trujillo, along with a couple of birdies on the back nine, helped the Discovery Canyon player move back into the lead with two holes remaining. But Trujillo couldn’t close the door and had a bogey on his final hole. When the round came to an end, the two players were tied after 36 holes.
Solem was able to win the shoot-off to claim the title.
In the team competition, Discovery Canyon finished with a final score of 438 to win, Montrose was second at 452 and a late run by Valor Christian allowed the Eagles to move into third in the final standings with a score of 457.
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