Summit High’s Graham Gaspard finishes 43 of 84 at 4A state golf tourney |

Summit High’s Graham Gaspard finishes 43 of 84 at 4A state golf tourney

It wasn’t the round Graham Gaspard wanted, but it was still one hell of a way to end his high school golf career.

From Sept. 26-27, Summit High senior Gaspard traveled with 83 other top-tier golfers from across the state for the 4A Colorado High School Golf Tournament, held at River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale. The 17-year-old earned a spot in the tourney with a full season of career-best play, including a 73 (one over par) at the 4A Western Slope tourney on Sept. 19 for third in the league.

On Day One of the tourney, Gaspard started strong with birdies on the second and fourth holes to finish two under par for the first six holes. He then had three bogies to finish the front 9 at one over par, which was good for fifth place overall. The back 9 started just as strong — par, birdie, par, par — with “impressive chips and putts” to finish 13 holes even, head coach Gary Sorensen said. The 17th hole was Gaspard’s Waterloo, as he sent two balls out of bounds for six over par. He recouped with a par on the 18th to finish Day One at nine over par (81 on a Par 72 course) and tied in the 30th position.

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect,” coach Sorensen said, quoting Arnold Palmer, who died a day before the tourney began. “It is at the same time rewarding and maddening…and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

Gaspard felt every ounce of Palmer’s love-hate relationship on Day Two. After a stellar first round, he returned to River Valley Ranch and shot 84 — three over his season average — for a 12 over. A tourney total of 165 left him in 43rd place out of 84 finishers.

“The magic, though, just wasn’t there,” Sorensen said after the tourney ended. “Yesterday’s spectacular chips and putts to save par, and lawn dart-tight approach shots, just weren’t quite there, despite team mascot Nugget’s best good-luck kisses.”

Jackson Solem of Silver Creek and Luke Trujillo of Discovery Canyon both shot 140 after Day Two to end tied at four under par. Solem won the playoff hole to take the 4A state crown.

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