‘The impossible’: Tigers tie for league title
LOUISVILLE – In a spectacular turn of events that Summit High School golf coach Chris Saunders called doing “the impossible,” the Tigers golf team made up 19 strokes on league leader Ralston Valley on Tuesday in the final league match of the year, enough to tie for the 4A Jeffco League championship.Summit won the league finale at Coal Creek Golf Club – its third straight league victory – with a score of 308. Ralston, the defending league champion, was second at 327. Combined with their league win last week, where they finished 16 strokes better than the Mustangs, the Tigers made up an astonishing 35 strokes in the final two tournaments. Both teams finished the season with 1912 strokes in the six league tournaments.”You gotta give credit to the kids – they did the impossible,” said Saunders. “The kids never gave up hope, but I said it would take a miracle to pull it off. They pulled off a miracle.”Leading the miraculous charge was senior Jason Chrobak. The Tigers’ lone state qualifier last year, Chrobak shot a 2-under 70 on Tuesday to win the individual title by five strokes. His score was three shots better than his previous career low in a tournament, the 73 he used to qualify for state at regionals last fall.
“It happened because I didn’t think about the next hole,” said Chrobak of his Tuesday round, which included three birdies and just one bogey. “I played it one shot at a time.”At this Chrobak paused, then added: “Actually, I don’t really know why it happened.”Senior Eric Nilsson aided in the “miracle” with a fourth-place 77, his best score this season in league play; freshman Sean Miller carded a seventh-place 80; and senior Phil Camillo tied for ninth with an 81 to round out the Tigers’ scorers on what Saunders called “one of the toughest courses we play.” Sophomore Jimmy Keeling posted an 85 for the Tigers.Summit’s astonishing turnaround left Ralston stunned (“There’s not very many smiles on their faces,” Saunders said) and put the Tigers in prime position to qualify for the state tournament at Monday’s regionals.
They would have to finish first or second to get in as a team – no doubt a tall task – but they have an extra advantage that should work in their favor. On Aug. 23 the Tigers won the first of their four league matches this season at West Woods, which will also serve as the venue for Monday’s regionals.After barring his team (and himself) from talking about the state-qualifying tournament over the past two weeks, Saunders finally lifted the ban on Tuesday.Speaking of the West Woods win earlier this season, the second-year coach said, “I think it definitely helps, having a little confidence going in. Golf’s all about confidence.”Added Chrobak, “Today is a mixture of disbelief and a huge boatload of confidence going into regionals.”
All-JeffcoNot only was Tuesday special because of the team title, but four of the Tigers’ five varsity regulars also were honored individually for their play over the course of the season.Chrobak and Camillo were two of the seven first team all-Jeffco members, and Nilsson and Miller both were named to the second team.Keeling finished just out of the top 14, in 16th place.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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