Antonelli takes boys’ state title |

Antonelli takes boys’ state title

DENVER – Silt’s Luke Antonelli saved his best for last at the Colorado Golf Association State Boys’ Stroke Play Championship.

After sitting in fourth after the first and second rounds of the tournament at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, Antonelli posted a 5-under par 67 Wednesday to claim the state crown with a three-day score of 69-74-67-210.

“It’s the only state event I’ve ever won, so it’s probably the biggest,” Antonelli said after the event.

Antonelli, who graduated from Rifle High School last spring, came back from six strokes back on the final day of play and his 67 matched the low round of the tournament and tied the course record. He was also the only player to card a round under 70 on the final day.

“Well, I just went out there and was trying to play as good as I could,” Antonelli said. “I was just trying to concentrate on my game and shoot the scores I needed to.”

On the back nine, Antonelli did just that.

Tied with 2001 CGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year Kenny Coakley of Bear Creek Golf Club, Antonelli birdied No. 14 to gain a one-stroke advantage. The margin remained the same until the 640-yard, par-5 18th hole, which Antonelli calls “a monster.”

Coakley’s second shot on the hole found the hazard. Antonelli hit the flag stick on his third shot and the ball settled eight feet from the hole. Antonelli two-putted for par and it was enough for a two-stroke win over Coakley.

The two-putt on 18 could be attributed to nerves, except Antonelli didn’t know he was in the lead until the round was over.

“I just misread it and then I pushed it a little bit and it didn’t go in,” Antonelli said.

Coakley finished with 67-74-71-212, followed by Chris Garehime of Columbine Country Club at 73-70-70-213. The leader coming into the final day, current 5A High School State Champion Drew Stoltz of Fort Collins Country Club, struggled on the final day with a round of 79. He finished fourth at 68-69-79-216.

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