The final day of the high school boys golf season was a tough one for the Durango Demons.
After one round Monday, the Demons were in fourth place and looked to maintain a top-five finish on a familiar course during the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 4A Boys Golf State Championships at The Bridges Golf Club in Montrose.
A day after the Demons shot a 24-over-par 237 as a three-man team, the Durango was 13 shots worse Tuesday to finish ninth overall at 61-over.
“The course was in beautiful shape,” DHS head coach Kirk Rawles said, “but they did definitely have tougher pins today with the way the course was set up.”
As a team, Montrose shot 1-over after two days of play to secure a third consecutive state title behind individual champion Micah Stangebye, who claimed his second consecutive state title. The Indians finished 35 shots ahead of second-place Pueblo West. Pondersoa took third at 42-over.
Stangebye shot 9-under after 36 holes after a 4-under start Monday without a bogey.
He was 5-under on Tuesday and never gave Kaden Ford of Discovery Canyon a chance to get back into the tournament. Stangebye had only one bogey. I came Tuesday on the par-3 No. 10, which played 194 yards. He answered right back with a birdie on the 354-yard par-4 13th.
“When you have a player like Stangebye, he’s kind of a phenom in high school golf,” Rawles said. “Everybody on their team then is trying to catch their teammate, and he pulls everybody else up. In high school sports, it’ really special to win two state titles in a row with the way kids move around and everything that happens, especially in a sport like golf. It’s phenomenal for them to win three straight titles.”
Ford and Hunter Swanson of Northfield tied for second at even par. Swanson shot 2-under on Tuesday, and Ford shot 1-under.
Montrose completed the team score with a 5-over from Ryan Lords, who tied for seventh, as well as an 11th-place finish for Jordan Jennings, who shot 9-over.
Ethan Whidden and Levi Tichi led Durango, as they tied for 21st at 14-over with four other players.
Whidden shot 5-over in his first round and 9-over Tuesday. Tichi had posted a 3-over 74 on Monday but followed with an 11-over 82 on Tuesday.
“Levi actually played pretty good through eight holes,” Rawles said. “He couldn’t get those one or two holes put together to kickstart his round and couldn’t get any traction.
“Ethan was kind of the same way. He started flat and was trying to find his swing. When you can’t get there, it’s tough, but he regrouped and shot 37 on the back nine.”
Durango’s Luke Tichi, who also is a strong contributor to the DHS cross-country team, finished in a tie for 63rd after he shot rounds of 87 and 88 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
A strong season for the Demons did not end the way the team had expected, but a strong foundation has been put in place for the 2020 team, as more than 30 players participated in boys golf at DHS this season, and picking a regional team was one of the toughest decisions to date for Rawles.
“We will have Anthony Flint, Levi Tichi and Levi Larson back to have some veterans to build around with those guys,” Rawles said. “To have assistant coach Kermit Barrett with me the last 11 years, it’s been a big help with him traveling to all the tournaments and working with the guys and a lot of those guys who don’t travel, and that’s more than 30 kids these days. It takes a lot of time, but to have the Hillcrest club champion with us working with the guys is a big help.”