Demons tee off at state tournament

Ward, Gillespie test Class 4A field in Montrose

Durango High School golfers Bo Ward and Cory Gillespie teed off Monday in the opening round of the CHSAA Class 4A State Golf Championships in Montrose.

Ward, a DHS junior, shot a 3-over 75 on Monday’s first round on the Links at Cobble Creek. The second 18 holes of the two-day state championship will be played today.

Gillespie, a DHS freshman, shot a 7-over 79 on the 6,970-yard course.

The two Demons qualified as individuals for the state championships.

“Bo is tied for 13th in the whole field, and Cory is tied for 28th,” Durango head coach Kirk Rawles said.

“Bo was even par with three holes to go,” Rawles said. A bogey-bogey-bogey finish spoiled a par round for the Durango golfer.

“But that’s his best round of the year,” Rawles said. “He hit the ball solidly all day.”

Gillespie also had an excellent round, Rawles said. But four holes proved costly.

“He shot 79 in a round with a quad (quadruple bogey) on a par 5 and three doubles (double bogeys),” Rawles said. “On the other holes, he was under par.”

And he drained some putts to get there.

“I was just playing. I was lucky enough to make some putts,” said Gillespie, the son of Jackie and Tracy Gillespie.

“That one hole pretty much ruined my day,” he said, adding that he’s excited to tackle 18 more holes today.

“I want to try to play like I did (Monday) and subtract the errors,” the DHS freshman said.

Ward is taking a similar approach to the first tee today.

“I just want to get rid of those mistakes I had (Monday),” said Ward, the son of Deedee Kendall and Dug Ward.

“Overall, I was pretty happy (with Monday’s opening round),” Ward said. “I hit a lot of fairways ... 10 or 11, maybe 12.”

Jacob Allenback of Pueblo Centennial had a three-shot lead after the opening round. He shot a 4-under 68.

Andrew Howe of Silver Creek (Longmont), Dylan Mitchell of Summit and Glenn Workman of Pueblo West all carded 71s Monday for a tie for second. They are three strokes behind the leader.

Four more golfers are stacked at 72: Chase Federico of Pueblo South, Jake Staiano and Josh Seiple, both of Valor Christian, and Josh McLaughlin of Thompson Valley (Loveland).

Jakob Rudosky of Montezuma-Cortez, who won the two-day Durango Invitational earlier this year, is tied for 10th after Monday’s opening round. Rudosky shot a 74.

Cortez teammate Hayden Piewe shot a 78.

The Panthers are tied for sixth as a team after the opening day. Cortez shot a composite 233, matching Evergreen.

Valor Christian leads the team standings with a 219, just 3 over.

Pueblo South is second, one stroke back at 220.

Silver Creek is tied for third with Cheyenne Mountain (226). Thompson Valley is fifth (230).

“I know Cory was disappointed with his round,” Rawles said. “But he’s not afraid to go back out and shoot a 70 or 71.”

Rawles said the playing conditions were superb Monday with no wind and brilliant sunshine.

“The course played kind of tough. Their sloping greens are tough to read,” Rawles said.