Rock Canyon’s Connolly tops Haywhacker field |

Rock Canyon’s Connolly tops Haywhacker field

Luke Graham

First-round leader Taylor Bolton-Harvey chips onto the No. 4 green at the Haymaker golf course in Steamboat Springs during the final day of the Colorado Junior Golf Association's Haywhacker golf tournament Tuesday.

— Brendan Connolly saved the flash for his grin and the consistency for the course.

The Rock Canyon rising sophomore put together a 1-under-par 71 on the second day of the Haywhacker tournament for a combined score of 144, one shot better than Parker Edens of Greeley and Benjamin Krueger of Colorado Springs.

Englewood’s Taylor Bolton-Harvey – the Day 1 leader after shooting a 69 – struggled on the back nine of Tuesday’s round and fell out of contention with a second-day 78. Bolton-Harvey finished three shots back of Connolly.

“I tried to focus on fairways, greens and two-putting,” Connolly said. “I didn’t want to make any stupid mistakes.”

After a bogey at No. 1 because of a wayward drive into the hazard, Connolly put it on cruise control the rest of the round. He carded birdies at holes four and nine before finishing with nine straight pars.

Still, the championship wasn’t decided until the 562-yard, par 5 No. 18. Connolly and Edens were tied at even for the tournament, with Krueger one shot back.

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Connolly and Krueger put their drives into the fairway while Edens put his in the deep rough on the right.

After punching out, Edens’ third shot went just left of the green. His chip landed just short, and his par attempt slid past the cup. Krueger had the best opportunity, but his third shot from 50 yards out landed short. He missed the putt, and Connolly two-putted for the win.

Connolly credited his win to two par-saving putts, on holes 16 and 17.

On each hole, he snaked in 10-footers to save par.

“Brendan has been in our tournaments since he was 7,” tournament director Dustin Jensen said. “He’s a consistent kid. He’s never too high or too low and plays his tail off.”

The tournament brought more than 240 golfers to Steamboat Springs for the two-day event. The event was the largest Colorado Junior Golf Association tournament in Steamboat.

“We love coming up,” Jensen said. “It’s long days, but it couldn’t be any more beautiful.”

Other winners included Connor Klein of Lone Tree in the boys 14- to 15-year-old division, with a two-day score of 152; Austin Wertz of Centennial in the boys 16- to 18-year-old division, with a two-day score of 152; and Chris Weinstein of Highlands Ranch in the boys 11- to 13-year-old division, with a score of 72. The 11- to 13-year-old division played nine holes each day. Shinwoo Lee of Aurora won the girls 14-to 18-year-old division with a score of 153. Danielle Urman from Greenwood Village won the 18-hole girls 11- to 13-year-old division with a 75.

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