Comeback Caron: Early season golf playoff helped Rifle High senior Ty Caron reach the Class 4A State Championships again
Post Independent Sports Editor
RIFLE — Ty Caron is happy to be here.
Granted, the Rifle High School senior has been here before, going to a state golf championship event at the Class 3A and 4A levels. But this time, going as an individual, Caron had to do a little extra to make a return trip.
Caron finished in a four-way tie for the 10th and 11th individual spots in the Class 4A State Championships at the end of the 4A Western Slope League Regional, which was played Sept. 17 at Gypsum Creek Golf Course. He was one of two players to emerge from a two-hole playoff, earning a berth in the 4A State Championships.
It’s not the first time Caron has been in a playoff this year. He tied Spencer Pearson of Steamboat Springs in regulation, and Rifle coach Jordan Smith said Caron learned a lot even though Pearson prevailed in the playoff.
“I think it was a huge benefit to him,” Smith said. “We talked at the regional, and I told him, ‘Hey, I know you like these guys, but you need to forget about that right now and go out and play.’”
Caron did just that. Though it’s not as a team with Rifle High — the way it was the past two years for the Bears — Caron and Cody Capwell will head to the Class 4A State Championships together when play begins next Monday and Tuesday at Hiwan Golf Club in Evergreen. They’re two of the three Garfield County prep players who will see state-tournament action — Tyler Scott of Coal Ridge qualified for the 3A State Championships.
Caron will tee off on the 10th hole at 8:57 a.m. on the morning the tournament starts. Capwell will go a little earlier, as his threesome will tee off from the 10th tee at 8:48 a.m. Scott’s tee time has not been determined.
The finish in regulation of the regional for Caron wasn’t anticipated. Neither were the troubles he had.
““I thought it was going to be an easy day for Ty,” said Smith, who noted that Caron was feeling sick by the 10th hole. “But he hunkered down and fought through it.”
Caron was at 8-over par after the first 14 holes, but he was able to make par on the next three before carding a birdie on the 18th to force a playoff. He played conservatively on the first playoff hole to stay alive and, on the second playoff hole, his approach shot landed four feet from the pin to set himself up for birdie and another trip to state.
Capwell, a senior, is making his first appearance in a state-tournament event. He got there thanks to his fourth-place individual finish at the regional tournament in Gypsum, where he shot a 5-over 77.
“He’s a guy who when he’s playing, you can’t tell if he’s 2-under or 20-over,” Smith said. “He’d never been on that kind of stage before at the regional. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did well at state.”
Scott is also going to state for the first time. Like Capwell, he managed a fourth-place individual finish, with his 6-over 78 coming in the Class 3A Western Slope Regional. That was also played at Gypsum Creek.
Scott will play in the 3A State Championships, which will take place at the Pueblo Country Club, also on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Scott is the grandson of Duane Scott, a 90-year-old golfer who has been playing at Rifle Creek Golf Course since it first opened in 1960.
Tyler is obviously excited about going to the state tournament, but the golf he’s picked up from his grandpa has helped him get to this point.
“I love going out to play with him,” the younger Scott said of his grandpa. “He’s taught me everything I know about golf.”
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