Summit High School golf team hosts annual Keystone Ranch Invitational |

Summit High School golf team hosts annual Keystone Ranch Invitational

Senior Garrison Ortega takes a swing from the fairway on hole 1 during Summit High's annnual Keystone Ranch Invitational Thursday. Ortega shot a season low 78. The team will head to Durango for Regionals Monday.
Sebastian Foltz / |

Summit High School’s Garrison Ortega led the way for the Tigers boys golf team Thursday, shooting a season-best 78 at the team’s annual Keystone Ranch Invitational. He missed finishing in the top 10 by just one stroke.

“I’m stoked,” he said after the round, adding that he was even happy with one shot he hit into a water hazard because he hit it farther than he expected.

Nineteen schools from the Front Range and Western Slope took to the course to compete in the tournament — one of the largest in 4A. Boulder High School took top honors, shooting an impressive 225 as a team.

“That’s the lowest score I can remember,” Summit head coach Gary Sorensen said.

Three of four Boulder golfers finished in the top 10, each shooting scores in the 70s. Alec Poorman and Grant Rodgers led the way for Boulder, shooting 2 over par (74) and finishing first and second overall. Steamboat Springs finished second with a 230, followed by Valor Christian with a 234.

Summit’s varsity team finished ninth, shooting a 253 as a team.

The Keystone tournament was the Tigers’ final regular season competition. The varsity team will travel to Durango Monday for regionals.

“If we all shoot what we can, our team can do really well,” Ortega’s teammate Jack Bilenduke said of their potential to qualify for state.

Sorensen said he believes some of his players could in fact do just that, but it will take a big day.

“We have a legitimate outside chance to qualify someone,” he said adding, however, “it’s going to take someone’s season best.”

Regional results are the only determining factor to qualify for state.

While a number of his teammates have come close, Ortega is the only one to shoot in the 70s so far this season. Sorensen said it typically takes a score in the mid-70s to qualify.

If the team doesn’t qualify for state, the regional tournament will be the final high school competition for three of the four varsity players — Bilenduke, Ortega and Jack Farrell. Sophomore Keegan Cancelosi is the varsity team’s only underclassman.

Sorensen said Cancelosi has been the team’s most improved player this season. He dropped 16 strokes from his average, since barely making the team as a freshman.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Sorensen said of Cancelosi.

Western Slope regionals will take place on Tuesday. The team will have a practice round Monday.

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