By Gary Baines – 08/01/2019
Colorado junior golfers apparently can hit the ball a long ways — and not only at altitude.
That’s one lesson that comes out of the just-completed Optimist International Junior Golf Championship, held at Trump National Doral in Miami.
In addition to the event featuring traditional competitions held for boys and girls in various age groups, there are long-drive contests. And out of the seven gender/age divisions, an eye-opening three were won by Coloradans. And Coloradans went three-for-four in the long-drive contests on the boys side.
Rhett Johnson of Littleton was the latest champion, coming in the last of the three phases of the event in Florida. Johnson hit a drive of 272 yards to win the boys 16-18 long drive. Oh, and by the way, the runner-up was also from Colorado, Christopher Kennedy of Aurora (268 yards).
Joining Johnson as Optimist International long-drive champions from Colorado were the previously-reported Gage Messingham of Arvada (298 yards in boys 14-15) and Gavin Amella of Castle Rock (242 yards in boys 10-11).
Meanwhile, here are how the Coloradans from the oldest age groups fared this week in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship:
18. Gavin Hagstrom, Windsor 74-75-75-74–298
22. Micah Stangbye, Montrose 74-70-79-77–300
34. Ryan Sangchompuphen, Denve 76-73-79-77–305
50. Jordan Jennings, Montrose 83-71-77-83–314
Missed 54-Hole Cut
Grant Hoos, Thornton 76-81-78–235
Christopher Kennedy, Aurora 80-78-77–235
Max Noffsinger, Greeley 81-82-76–239
Westin Pals, Castle Rock 85-74-81–240
Rhett Johnson, Littleton 81-81-82–244
Thomas Hicks, Greenwood Village 77-82-86–245
Tyler Tyson, Arvada 79-88-85–252
Blake Katt, Parker 81-82-89–252
Jack Garnsey, Denver 86088-80–254
Mario Dino, Denver 86-85-88–259
13. Kaylee Chen, Greenwood Village 73-79-73-81–306
28. Ashley Kozlowski, Littleton 80-74-80-81–315
34. Emma Bryant, Aurora 82-85-76-77–320
34. Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland 82-79-79-80–320
43. Katie Berrian, Castle Rock 83-84-77-81–325
Rachel Penzenstadler, Centennial 79-85-79-DNF
Missed 54-Hole Cut
Jessica Zapf, Windsor 86-79-81–246
Meghan Vogt, Broomfield 88-85-80–253
Morgan Ryan, Centennial 87-85-81–253
Katherine Malcolm, Parker 81-89-91–261
Grace Young, Highlands Ranch 84-97-91–272
For roundups on how Coloradans fared in the previous two phases of the Optimist, click on the following: PHASE I, PHASE II.