DHS boys golf qualifies 2 for state

Gillespie advances, and Ward earns the final state cut at regionals

Cory Gillespie, who led Durango High School with a two-day 156 at the Demons’ home tournament last week at Hillcrest and Dalton Ranch golf clubs, shot a 77 on Tuesday at Conquistador Golf Club in Cortez to finish seventh overall and earn a spot at this year’s state tournament. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file photo

Cory Gillespie, who led Durango High School with a two-day 156 at the Demons’ home tournament last week at Hillcrest and Dalton Ranch golf clubs, shot a 77 on Tuesday at Conquistador Golf Club in Cortez to finish seventh overall and earn a spot at this year’s state tournament.

And then there were two.

Durango High School qualified two golfers for the CHSAA Class 4A Boys Golf State Championships two weeks from now in Montrose, and a third finished a close three strokes off the cut.

Cory Gillespie and Bo Ward made the cut at regionals Tuesday at Conquistador Golf Club in Cortez, and there was plenty of drama involved in the penultimate tournament of the season, too.

Montezuma-Cortez and Rifle tied for first at 226 strokes apiece, but only one team from the region can advance to the state meet. So, the Panthers and the Bears played a playoff.

The long and short of it: Jakob Rudosky holed in from 140 yards out to eagle a par 4 and give Montezuma-Cortez the state berth.

The Rifle Bears were relegated to runner-up.

The trickle-down effect from the Panthers’ victory also created a three-player playoff for the final two individual spots on the state roster: Durango, Montrose and Rifle.

The kid from Rifle shot par on the playoff hole and advanced; Ward bogeyed to earn the final spot, while the kid from Montrose double bogeyed.

Gillespie’s 77 on Tuesday was seven strokes off medalist Kyler Smith’s 70 and was good for seventh place overall. The top nine individuals besides the Panthers qualified for state.

“That’s impressive,” DHS coach Kirk Rawles said of Gillespie’s season. “Cory is a freshman, and he made (state) his first year on the team.

“Bo’s very deserving.

“I’m bummed for Trevor (Bogus),” Rawles said of the junior who narrowly missed out on state for the second consecutive season. “He dropped five strokes over the last four holes, otherwise he’d be there, too.”

Ward finished with a 79, Bogus an 82. Cameron Barnhardt shot an 83 for the Demons.

Rudosky and Riley Willis of Montrose finished runner-up to Palisade’s Smith.

Palisade finished third overall at 233, followed by Montrose, Summit and Durango (238).

heraldsports@durangoherald.com