Attempting repeat, Discovery Canyon's Trujillo struggles on first day of 4A state golf tournament

0
Photo - Discovery Canyon golfer Luke Trujillo is pictured at The Club at Flying Horse on Friday, September 30, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
Discovery Canyon golfer Luke Trujillo is pictured at The Club at Flying Horse on Friday, September 30, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

LITTLETON - Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo came up short on several shots in his quest for a repeat title on Monday morning.

Here's the story, short and sweet - he's still within reach.

Trujillo finished a cold and windy first round at the Class 4A state tournament at Raccoon Creek Golf Course tied for fourth and just three strokes back of the lead at 3-over-75.

"Didn't have control of my swing for a couple holes and made a couple bad decisions," Trujillo said.

On Tuesday, he can expect warmer temperatures and a bit of early morning practice.

"I'll just try to find something that clicks for me tomorrow," the senior said. "Just hitting the driving range and definitely the putting green. Putt a couple shorts ones, hit a couple long irons and that's it."

Trujillo held a big lead after the first day of the state tournament last season before needing a playoff to clinch the title.

On Tuesday, he'll be forced to play a bit of catch-up.

His tee time is slated at approximately 10:18 a.m. with the trio of leaders - Darren Edwards of Thompson Valley, Jake Welch of Valor Christian, and Tyler Severin of Roosevelt - right behind.

It's a fine spot to be in for now, Discovery Canyon coach Mark Liggett said.

"I think Luke is right where he needs to be," Liggett explained. "Maybe not where he planned to be, but he hung in there on this cold day."

Trujillo, with long sleeves and a beanie, shot 1-under through nine holes before finding some trouble on the back.

He bogeyed 10 and three-putted on 13's unforgiving green to fall to 2-over.

Then on par-3 No. 17 - which may have been the most dreaded hole of the day for the field - Trujillo's tee-shot from 226 yards cleared an intruding pond but landed in a bunker short of the green. He settled for another bogey after barely missing a long downhill putt.

"My swing is not in the place I want it to be right now," Trujillo said. "It's close, but I was just trying to keep it straighter rather than keeping it in the right distance. Because if I swing too hard it might go a little wayward.

"Yeah, definitely (need to) try to figure out my distance control for tomorrow."

Defending champion Discovery Canyon (28-over-par 244) is sixth as a team going into Tuesday, 11 strokes back of leader Montrose (233).

Palmer Ridge is fourth at 240. Drew Laake (79) is tied for 14th for the Bears, while Trey Jones (80) is tied for 18th. Elijah Harp (81) and Lance Phillips (83) aren't far back in the top 30.

Woodland Park's Shane Purkey is tied for 26th at 82.