Heading into the second day of state tournament play, Summit High School golfer Dylan Mitchell was three strokes behind leader Jacob Allenback from Pueblo Centennial. He had high hopes of finishing first, but two bad holes put him out of reach to finish in fifth place in the 4A division with a 144 overall (71-73).
"He came up short of his hopes and expectations but all but one guy does," Summit golf coach Gary Sorensen said. "Only one guy went home completely happy."
Allenback fired a 4-under 68 for the three-shot lead at The Links at Cobble Creek in Montrose, a par-72 course. Allenback made five birdies to go 34-34 on the first day. On Day 2, Allenback shot a 1-under 71 to place him at the top.
Mitchell entered Tuesday tied at 71 with Silver Creek's Andrew Howe and Pueblo West's Glenn Workman. Workman completed another 71 to land third place, while Howe shot a 78 to bump back to 11th. Meanwhile, Mitchell went 1-over to score 73.
"I had two bad holes right in the middle of my round," Mitchell said. "Without those, I was one behind the leader. Stuff happens."
Sorensen elaborated on holes 10 and 11, in which Mitchell started off his series of flaws with one deep in the rough, only to be hit into some shallower grass. On the next hole, he chose the wrong club and hit it over the green, bouncing it into a creek.
"He hit it well, it was just the wrong club choice with the tail winds," Sorensen said. "Without those, he'd have been four under and putting pressure on Josh (McLaughlin)." McLaughlin finished second with a 141.
"He wanted to do better than fifth place, but the pyramid is real narrow at the top. He shouldn't be too disappointed," Sorensen said. "He didn't give up when he knew that his ultimate goal was probably out of reach. He kept grinding, and trying hard. As evidenced by finishing birdie, eagle, par, par. That speaks a lot for how mature he is."
Sorensen also commended Mitchell's play on the 17th green, which he parred when most other golfers didn't.
"I hit the ball the best I've hit it in a long time," Mitchell said. "I'm really excited about my game. Bounces and stuff didn't go my way. You need a few things to go your way to win a tournament. Everything has to go in your favor. Things didn't go my way all the time."
Previously, Mitchell tied for 27th in his sophomore year and tied for 7th his junior year. He didn't make the cut as a freshman.
Mitchell plans to head to the Colorado Golf Association Tournament of Champions at the Broadmoor this weekend in Colorado Springs. He'll then take some time off to rest and practice, and figure out his next step.