Luke Trujillo, Discovery Canyon Thunder keep boys' golf momentum

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Photo - Defending champion of Kadet Invitational Luke Trujillo of Discovery Canyon chips from the bunker at the first hole at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the US Air Force Academy Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).
Defending champion of Kadet Invitational Luke Trujillo of Discovery Canyon chips from the bunker at the first hole at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the US Air Force Academy Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo bogeyed the sixth hole of the Kadet Invitational on Tuesday at Eisenhower Golf Club's Blue Course.

"He'll get it back," coach Mark Liggett said with the absolute certainty of someone who has seen it many times before.

Two holes later, he did, and the defending 4A state champion went on to shoot a 3-under 69 and win the tournament in what his coach called a "very Luke-like" performance. His Thunder teammates all scored 80 or above, but it was enough to secure the team crown.

"The rest of the team had a little bit of trouble hitting the fairways," Liggett said. "They grinded it out the whole day, and they finished it out, so it was good enough."

Liberty's Brandon Bervig was second with an individual score of 71, and the Lancers were fifth as a team. Palmer Ridge, Regis and Cheyenne Mountain filled out the top five.

Palmer Ridge's Drew Laake was third with a round of 74.

Discovery Canyon will host the Thunder Invitational on Thursday where it hopes to keep its streak of Pikes Peak Athletic Conference titles alive, then it's on to regionals.

Trujillo is happy where his game is as he and his teammates prepare to defend their state championships. The Thunder also won the state team title last season.

"I'm loving how I'm hitting the ball right now. It's been a long time since I hit the ball like this," Trujillo said. "Summer was a little rough, and I've put in a lot of work this fall just to get prepared for state."

Meanwhile, Doherty junior Avery Henderson isn't taking a state tournament berth for granted. He wants to qualify after missing the cut by two strokes last season.

With his father's encouragement, he's soaking up as much as he can from players like Trujillo and Bervig.

It seems to be working. Henderson took 10th at the Terror Invitational on Aug. 29.

"When I play with better players, I play better," Henderson, who finished second among the Spartans at 87 on Tuesday, said. "You don't necessarily mimic what they do, but you take bits and pieces."

Henderson is working on the mental aspects of his game. That's something even defending state champions struggle with at times.

"I was looking a little shaky toward the end, I had to gather myself," Trujillo said. "I made a couple of bad decisions, and that will hurt you, especially at this course. I was inconsistent, but I was able to bounce back."