Trey Jones wasn’t expected to be Palmer Ridge’s top finisher at the Class 4A state golf tournament in Littleton last week, but that’s where he found himself after the Bears' regular No. 1 struggled at Raccoon Creek Golf Course.
Jones turned in an 80 on a cold and rainy opening day before closing with a 75 Tuesday to finish in 11th place and earn Peak Performer of the Week honors.
His two-round total of 155 was 11 strokes back of the individual champion, Thompson Valley’s Darren Edwards.
“It always can be better, but I was really happy with how I finished,” Jones said.
Coming into his second year of prep golf, Jones wanted to be be all-conference and all-state. He came up one stroke short of the all-state nod, but easily could have been in the class’ top 10, according to Palmer Ridge coach Gary Long.
Jones needed nine strokes to finish the par-4 10th hole on Monday. Long found the sophomore about that time and reminded him he can’t get all those strokes back at once. From that point forward, Jones climbed up the leaderboard.
“All the sudden, his swing changed. He started taking easy passes at the ball,” Long said. “The rest of that day and the 18 holes the next day, golf was easy for him. He shot an easy 75. That round could’ve been a 70 or a 69.”
His putter was crucial to his strong finish.
“At the end of the year, all the putts started to drop,” Jones said. “The first day (of state) I didn’t hit the ball very well, but my putting made up for it. I made a couple 15-footers for par.”
After leading the Bears to a fourth-place finish as a sophomore, he’s looking for an even better showing in his junior year.
“Winning state is not out of reach, I don’t think, for our team,” Jones said. “That’s going to be my main goal next season.”
The Bears took three sophomores and a junior to state this year and expect everyone back next season. Jones plans to continue his improvement with a better approach game, hopefully putting less pressure on his putter.
“It makes life a lot easier if you can get within two or three feet,” Jones said.
Jones is also a member of the Bears’ basketball program but works on his golf game regardless of the season. He credited playing in some competitive tournaments over the summer, along with his state experience as a freshman, with making him more comfortable this year.
That leads to excitement about what’s to come in his presumed third and fourth trips to the state tournament.
“Whenever it gets down to the nitty gritty, he’s able to focus. He had one bad hole at state or he would’ve probably been No. 5 or No. 6 in the state,” Long said.
“He’s one of our most mature kids on the golf course even though he was just a sophomore this year.”
Other Peak Performers
Tatum Miller, Air Academy: Miller won the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Championship meet in 18 minutes, 58 seconds on her home course Wednesday. She led the Kadets to a third-place team finish.
Lookens Smith, Colorado Springs Christian School: Smith, a junior, opened the week with a goal and an assist against Ellicott on Tuesday before posting a hat trick with an assist in an 8-0 win over Lutheran. The Lions are 9-2 with six straight wins.
Katelynn Ralston, Cheyenne Mountain: The Indian pitcher continued her dominant freshman season with three wins last week. She struck out six in a four-inning one-hitter against Harrison before striking out 11 in an 8-7 win over Air Academy. She closed the week with a 16-strikeout, two-hit showing against Coronado.
Zachary Anderson, Discovery Canyon: The junior quarterback helped the Thunder make quick work of Woodland Park on Friday with four first-half touchdowns. He rushed five times for 70 yards and two scores, and completed both of his passes for another 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Hope Storm, The Classical Academy: The freshman setter helped the Titans pick up a pair of wins last week. She dished out 23 assists, seven digs and two service aces in a four-set win over Sierra on Tuesday before putting up 13 assists and 12 digs in Thursday’s sweep of Widefield.