GOLDEN — Dakota Dolph could’ve easily gotten frustrated. He actually was perturbed after a double bogey on No. 2 Monday in the 4A Jeffco League boys golf opener at Applewood Golf Course. But he stayed calm and got back into a stable mindset. That’s when the birdies started to drop.
Four of them all told, including three on the front nine, kept him contention. Seven pars and a birdie on the final eight holes carried the Conifer senior to an even-par 71 and a one-stroke victory over Green Mountain’s Oliver Gibbons.
“He’s really matured. He’s playing like a mature senior this year,” Conifer head coach Jeremy Barnett said.
Gibbons led by one shot heading into the final two holes, but bogeys on No. 17 and 18 opened the door for Dolph to score his first career victory.
“He has been the leader of our team since his freshman year, and it was just awesome to see him get his first win,” Barnett said.
Though as well as Dolph, a two-time state tournament qualifier, played, he thought he could’ve shot even better.
“I’m having the yips right now,” Dolph said. “I missed a couple of short putts that cost me the 60s. I thought I would get in the 60s here for sure. I still played pretty good, probably my best high school tournament ever.”
As a team, Conifer finished fourth in the eight-team field with a 344 total, 36 shots back of first-place Green Mountain. Other scorers for the Lobos include Brian Sherry (90), Ryce Winter (91), Ben Lack (92) and Casey Sadowski (94).
Evergreen placed second among the teams with a 329. Leading the Cougars was senior Jack Mitchell, carding a 6-over-par 77. It was good enough for fifth place, but Mitchell said he needs to shoot better.
“I wasn’t feeling it,” Mitchell said. “I know that I’ve got a good round in me. I’m just saving it for a good day.”
Mitchell’s lone birdie came on the Par 3 No. 14. He was 2-over-par heading into the back nine after bogeys on No. 1 and 3, and he followed that with four bogeys on the back stretch, including a double bogey at No. 10.
“One birdie the entire round. I wasn’t exactly giving myself a shot,” Mitchell said.
The Cougars’ Jake Baysinger and Jake Dekoker carded 10-over-par 81s to tie for eighth, Chase Thompson shot a 90, and Jackson Green fired a 96.
Editor Michael Hicks can be reached at 303-350-1039 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MHicksEditor.