Vail Vaill preps: Sophomore Wilhelm ties for 15th at state golf meet |

Vail Vaill preps: Sophomore Wilhelm ties for 15th at state golf meet

Yep, he’s only a sophomore.

Battle Mountain’s Michael Wilhelm fired a 74 Monday and a 77 Tuesday for a two-day score of 151, finishing tied for 15th at the 4A state golf tournament at The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs.

“I’m glad I got here,” Wilhelm said. “I had no expectations for what I might do. For sure, there are a lot of good players, but there’s no reason I can’t get in the mix.”

And that will be the sophomore’s goal for the next two years at Battle Mountain.

Wilhelm started on the back nine on Monday, and it was a bit rocky. He double-bogeyed his second hole and had three more squares on the front of his card. Wilhelm rallied in fine form Monday with seven pars and two birdies on the back for a 2-under 34.

Despite putting problems throughout the tournament – he was headed to the shop to get a new flat blade after Tuesday’s closing round – Wilhelm played steady golf on Tuesday, finishing with a flourish. Said putter went out with bang, as Wilhelm jarred a 30 footer for birdie on 18.

“That was probably the highlight of the tournament,” said Wilhelm, who also wanted to thank Tom Apple, of Country Club of the Rockies, for his help this season. “My dad was there. There were 200 people watching. It was 30 feet down a hill, and it was my only one-putt of the day.”

Battle Mountain’s Dillon McDonald, a senior, had a promising start to the state tournament before finishing tied for 44th with a two-day score of 160. McDonald birdied two of the first three holes Monday before a triple on his seventh hole of the day sent him reeling to an 83.

“I don’t know what happened,” McDonald said. “My head got in the way. I really had to fight to get that 83, which was hard.”

To his credit, McDonald bounced back with a 77 on Tuesday.

“I learned a lot,” said McDonald, who is off to check out colleges in California. “My head gets in the way too much. I need to focus on what I’m doing and not think about the score or whatever else.”

Up at Eaton at the 3A state tourney, sophomore Robby Bowles did Vail Christian proud as the first Saint to compete at this level.

As would be expected, the sophomore struggled on Monday but found his groove on Day 2, shooting a 94-90, finishing 77th. Bowles shook off an ugly back nine Monday to par 10 holes, including five in row, on Tuesday.

“I felt like I was overswinging the first day,” Bowles said. “I had a lot of chipping errors, but it was good experience to play under pressure. I’m looking forward to next year.”

And that is music to Saints coach Jeremy Lowe’s ears.

“I thought overall that he played with a lot of courage,” the coach said. “There was the golf clap, playing with upperclassmen and having galleries follow him around. It was a different situation than he’s ever been in. He settled in well.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

Support Local Journalism