A.J. Ott finished sixth at the Class 5A State Championship golf tournament last season as a freshman.
Already this season Ott looks to be in top form after a summer of tough national competition, as Ott came away with the low score in the second Front Range League match of the season Thursday at Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder.
Ott carded a 69, two strokes better than Boulder’s Grant Dinkle who finished second. This was Ott’s first chance to play for the Lambkins this season.
“It was a great start for him,” said Brent Uhlrich, Fort Collins assistant boys golf coach. “He did the same thing last year. He shot a three-under at The Olde Course (in Loveland) and won it.”
Dinkle and company would have the last laugh. Three of the top five scores belonged to Panthers golfers, guiding their team to the league win by nearly a dozen strokes. Boulder’s 290 was followed by Fairview’s 301.
“(Boulder is) very strong,” Uhlrich said. “They play there a little more because (Flatirons) is in Boulder.”
Fossil Ridge was third, with 307. The SaberCats’ best golfers were Eric Hill (74) and Will Thwaites (75). Fort Collins finished seventh thanks to Ott’s day.
Rocky Mountain was eighth, as Matt Bell led the way with a 75. Poudre’s Nick Rozga (82) helped the Impalas finish ahead of Mountain Range at 11th.
Just a sophomore, Ott has a good head on his shoulders, Uhlrich said. Ott does have a tendency to put a lot of pressure on himself, though. He described a sixth-place finish at state last year as disappointing.
“I think that’s a good thing,” said Uhlrich, talking about the kind of pressure Ott puts on himself. “He handles himself well for a sophomore. He was kind of the buzz of the tournament down here.”
EATON INVITATIONAL — Junior varsity players had a chance to shine and used that stage to secure a win for a Fort Collins-area golfer.
Fossil Ridge golfer Noah Brownell had the lowest round, shooting a one-over par 72. Brownell was joined by two Silver Creek golfers in the top five, as those golfers helped Silver Creek to a first-place finish. Fossil Ridge finished tied for third with Windsor, which had all four players under 80.
Fort Collins was 11th. The Lambkins’ top golfer at the invitational was Garrett Elder, who shot an 83. Poudre participated as well, but Rocky Mountain did not send a contingent to Eaton. Poudre finished last as the only school to card a total higher than 300. Daryan Sterkel was the only Impala golfer to shoot below 100, carding a 96.