Levi Tichi didn’t take much time to make his name known in the world of high school golf.
The freshman competed for the Durango High School team in its season-opening tournament Thursday at Pagosa Springs Golf Club. He shot an 8-over-par 79 to win the tournament by one stroke. He recored a birdie on No. 5, a short 328-yard par-4, and avoided any blowup holes all day en route to the victory.
“For Levi, this is his first foray, but he shot 72 in our qualifier up at Hillcrest from the blue tees,” said Durango head coach Kirk Rawles. “He played pretty steady and really well for his first start at the high school level.”
Montezuma-Cortez’s Blake Keetch finished in a tie for second at 9 over along with Pagosa’s Jonathon Robel. Durango junior Luke Tichi, the older brother of Levi, was fourth at 10 over. “They kind of help each other because they play a lot of golf and are brothers,” Rawles said.
The Demons won the team competition with a total score of 29 over. Pagosa Springs was second at 37 over, and Monte Vista was third at 39 over. Alamosa was fourth at 45 over, and Montezuma-Cortez was fifth at 53 over.
Luke Tichi had two birdies on his round. Aside from a 10 recored on No. 5, a 521-yard par-5, he played a solid round of golf.
Durango’s Anthony Flint, another freshman, shot 11 over and finished tied for fifth. He was even par through his first four holes and played his first seven holes at 1 over.
Durango’s Ethan Whidden, a junior, shot 17 over to place 11th, and Sten Joyner was 12th at 18 over. Josh Meador also placed 16th at 22 over, Jacob Genualdi was 22nd at 27 over, and Brady McCaw shot 36 over and placed 27th.
“I’m optimistic going into this year,” Rawles said. “Ethan coming back as a junior and Luke being a junior with the two freshmen doing what they’re doing, the next two years look good.”
Durango will play again next Thursday in Montrose. DHS will have a home meet with a round Sept. 10 at Hillcrest Golf Club and Sept. 11 at Dalton Ranch Golf Club.