COLORADO SPRINGS - The Class 4A regional golf tournament Sept. on 18 at the Country Club of Colorado had a lot of competitors shaking their heads. Among them were the Woodland Park High School foursome of Evan Lays, Jon Worscheck, Jacob Neal and Jake Neil.
“I took a 10 on the par-3 (11th),” said Lays, a senior, who missed qualifying for the state tournament by 11 strokes. “The course is playing tough, but it didn’t help that I hit my tee shot in the lake three times.”
Lays, a senior, was Woodland Park’s most consistent golfer all season. He routinely shot in the low to mid 80s. His 95 at regionals was left him well back of the pack.
“It’s been a fun season, anyway,” Lays said.
Worscheck, a junior, fired a 91 to lead the team. Sophomore Jack Neil had a 100, while senior Jacob Neal came in at 116. Competitors played from the blue tees, which were marked off at 7,056 yards.
“It’s a tough course, anyway, but they have the pins almost as far back as possible,” said Woodland Park coach Brad Eggspuehler. “The greens are very fast, too. It’s definitely a challenging course. But it has to be.”
One hundred golfers from 25 schools competed in near perfect conditions. The top two teams automatically advanced to the next month’s state tournament. The next 19 individuals also advanced.
The host school, Cheyenne Mountain, won the tournament as all four its golfers shot a 78 or better. The Country Club of Colorado is Cheyenne Mountain’s home course.
Pueblo South’s Jimmy Mackloski turned in the best round of the day with a 7-under par 65. Cheyenne Mountain’s Wilson Belk (69) was the only other golfer to break 70.
“I don’t think Cheyenne Mountain has an advantage over anyone else just because this is their home course,” Eggspuehler said. “Everyone is playing the same course, so it’s fair.”
Eggspuehler is excited about the future of Woodland Park golf. Worscheck and Jake Neil return next year. Sophomore Sam Ballard and freshman Sam Wooldridge are expected to round out the top four.
“(Wooldridge) is coming along well, and Jake gets better all the time,” Eggspuehler said. “Sam Ballard is right there, and Jon has realized the importance of putting and has worked hard on it. That will make a difference next year.”
Eggspuehler added that plenty of individual work is important.
“You have to play over the summer,” he said. “It just takes time.”