LAKEWOOD — Girls golf coach Mike Kuzava finally got to see his full team in the swing of things on a sunny and calm April 2.
Consider him both reassured and a little unsettled.
Kuzava saw ace Chance Forbes shrug off a tepid start, make the turn and catch fire as she tied for first by carding a 10-over par 75 at the up-and-down Homestead Golf Course.
Kuzava also saw that his team needs to keep showing marked improvements if it wants to compete for any Jefferson County League or Class 4A team titles.
“It was our first chance to see our varsity team with all the players, and it was kind of an eye-opener to see that we’re not as good as I thought we were going to be,” Kuzava said.
The Cougars finished third overall in the tournament and second in terms of Jeffco competition as guest Colorado Academy won the event with a team score of 328. Golden was next with a 335 and Evergreen scored a 352, comfortably ahead of fourth-place Ralston Valley (381) but not close enough to the front for what Kuzava believes his team is capable of shooting.
Forbes and Colorado Academy’s Elizabeth Kresock were the only golfers to shoot below 80. Although not part of the Jeffco rivalry, Kuzava said the any chance Forbes gets to compete against Kresock will only make the junior better.
“She struggled a little bit on the front nine, but on the back nine she got in the zone,” Kuzava said. “It was good to see.”
When Forbes finds here zone, Kuzava said, she will be hard to beat in any tournament this season.
Christina Spinzig fired an 83 for Evergreen’s next best score, which tied the sophomore for sixth overall.
The play of sophomores Ali Schlichter and Aslinn Scott, and freshman Lauren Jagels will be crucial this season, Kuzava said. He expects each of his younger athletes to improve dramatically this season, gain valuable tournament experience and hopefully tip the balance if the Cougars want to emerge from the hunt.
“Our No. 3 and 4 players need to play over their heads for us to compete for the highest honors,” Kuzava said.
D’Evelyn placed fifth overall with a team score of 402, Elizabeth was next with a 407, and rival Conifer scored a 480.
In addition to Kresock, Colorado Academy had three other golfers shoot 86 or better. The Demons were led by Taylor Bull’s round of 82 and Jordan Bull’s round of 84.