Boys Varsity Golf · Boys golf: Grace and Tigers win at Twin Peaks


LONGMONT — It’s been a long time coming for Jackson Grace.

The Holy Family senior has hovered near the top of the Northern Colorado Athletic Conference leaderboard all season, but had failed to taste victory.

That was until Monday afternoon at Twin Peaks Golf Course. Grace shot a nifty 2-over par 72, playing smart golf all the way around the short Longmont municipal course to win by a shot over playing partner Brentyn Paiz of Windsor.

“It’s been a while since I have won and this is an energy I haven’t felt since I was a little kid in junior golf,” said Grace, who gave a Tigers Woods-like first bump at the end when he knew what he had finally accomplished. “I am just really proud of myself and all of the hard work and going through the (back) injury thinking I might never pick up a golf club again.

“And to be back here and lead this team, and I love our guys, this is just so great and such a fun year.”

It was a spectacular day all around for the Tigers, who placed three players in the top 10, including Ben Achziger (76, tied for third) and junior Dustin Fouts, who shot his career low with a 77 to tie for fifth.

It all comes in the penultimate NCAC meet of the year and just a week out from next weeks Class 3A regional tournament at River Valley Ranch G.C. in Carbondale, just outside of Aspen.

It was a rather inauspicious start to the round for Grace, who made a double bogey on his opening hole, but got one back on the very next hole with a birdie on the 549-yard par-5 second hole. From there on out, he limited the damage and his course management throughout the rest of the day was on full display. Instead of bombing drivers all over the place, Grace was happy just hitting irons off the tees, leaving himself 150-yards home on a consistent basis and making good approach shots.

Something his father and coach Will Wilson have been preaching to him most of the year and an approach that will come in more than handy on both the regional course as well as the state course, Dos Rios in Gunnison.

“They have been helping me with that fairways and greens mentality and playing to the 150 stick,” Grace said. “If I can have a pitching wedge in on every hole, I’ll make a good score. If I can establish that level of consistency, I’ll be playing a lot better.”

Nothing was decided for Grace as he walked up the 18th fairway. He knew he was tied with Paiz, who will be the NCAC medalist this season, and after a nice chip shot to within two feet for par put the pressure on the Wizards senior to two-putt from 30-feet. Paiz left his first putt short and then lipped-out his par putt from three feet that would have tied it.

“That two foot slider with the chills going down the neck with everybody watching and everybody knows the score,” Grace said. “Making that putt just proves to me I can do it.”

Achziger was watching his round get away from him late, but hopped aboard the birdie train for three holes, 14-15-16, and turned his day around. A sloppy double on the last might leave a sour taste in his mouth, but all-in-all it was a good day for the junior.

Fouts was just consistent all day and limited the damage on a course that had the ability to jump up an bite people for big numbers. He made eight bogies, had one birdie and the rest were scrambling pars.

Freshmen Rudi Heitz (81, tied for 13th) and Drake Krommenhoek (82, tied for 17th) rounded out the Tigers five on Monday.

Holy Family will conclude the NCAC portion of the schedule on Wednesday at Pelican Lakes in Windsor. And while the team chase for the league title is a bit of forgone conclusion, Windsor lead by 25 shots going into the final match on their home course, there are still a few loose ends for Wilson and the Tigers to tie up before making plans for the regional tournament the following Tuesday.

NCAC LEAGUE MEET NO. 5

At Twin Peaks G.C.

Teams scores — Holy Family 306, Windsor 310, Silver Creek 321, Longmont 329, Centaurus 332, Skyline 345, Erie 358, Mead 364, Greeley West 369, Greeley Central 372.

Individuals — 1. Jackson Grace, Holy Family 72; 2. Brentyn Paiz, Windsor, 73; T3. Benedict Achziger, Holy Family, 76; T3. Ben Harding, Silver Creek 76; T5. Alex Tanner, Windsor, 77; T5. Dustin Fouts, Holy Family, 77; 7. Ryan Vaver, Centaurus, 78; T8. Carter Hinkle, Windsor, 79; T8. Adam Gannon, Longmont, 79; T8. Quinn Lockwood, Silver Creek, 79.

Other Holy Family scores — T13. Rudi Heitz 81; T17. Drake Krommenhoek 82.