Rifle’s Antonelli places second at CGA event
GRAND JUNCTION – After carding a two-under round of 70 in the final round of the three-day, 54-hole Colorado Golf Association/Daily Sentinel Junior Golf Tournament, Luke Antonelli earned the right to feel good about himself.
“If someone told me at the start of the day, I would shoot a 70, I’d take it,” the former Rifle High School star said of his effort at the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa tournament course.
“I was pretty happy,” Antonelli said of his round, which turned out to be the best single-day score among the 47 player field in the 16-18 year-old boys tournament which wrapped up play Tuesday.
As pleased as Antonelli was with his round, a tournament victory would have made the Silt resident happier.
Antonelli missed that achievement by a foot.
He lipped a putt at 17. That miss allowed Fort Collins’ Chase Watkins, who fought back-and-forth for the lead with Antonelli for six holes, to grab the lead between for good.
Watkins’ three-day total of 210 bettered Antonelli by a stroke for the tournament championship.
Antonelli spent most of the tournament chasing Watkins.
He trailed Watkins by two shots after Sunday’s opening round at Bookcliff Country Club, and failed to gain any ground on his opponent the next day when the two golfers shot identical rounds of 68 at Tiara Rado Golf Course.
At Redlands Mesa, arguably, the toughest of the three Grand Junction-based golf courses, Antonelli played his best golf.
He caught Watkins on the front nine, but Antonelli’s game started to unravel on the back.
Antonelli bogied 16. His near-miss on 17 followed.
The combination allowed Watkins to take the lead for good.
Eric Wilson was third with a three-day total of 218, followed by Jim Grady’s 219 and Chase Wortman at 220.
Cole Manuppella, a returning letterman at Rifle High School, had the second-best tournament score among area golfers. His final score of 228 earned an eighth-place tie with Tyler Bishop.
Jim Owens of Rifle completed play with a total of 237. Carbondale resident Bryant Maggert shot a three-day total of 243. Chris Jones and Jerrad Brown, also of Rifle, finished at 251 and 252, respectively. Brown’s younger brother, Jason ended the tournament with a score of 289.
Another Rifle resident, Jeff Savage, completed play in the 14-15 year-old boys tournament with a 245.
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