Golf is mostly an individual sport but at the high school level it diversifies.
Individual golfers, like Kyler Dunkle, start paying as much attention to the team as their own scores in high school tournaments.
Dunkle, a junior at Douglas County who is the Colorado Community Media Golfer of the Year, won the Class 5A Northern Regional tournament with a competitive course record 6-under-par 66 at Mariana Butte Golf Course in Loveland.
He then captured medalist honors at the state tournament thanks to a phenomenal shot on the final hole.
“Individually it was a great season but it was also a great season for our team,” Dunkle said. “It's a great honor to be Golfer of the Year. It's what I call an accomplishment for me.
“Even though I won state, one of the best moments for me was winning regionals as a team because we weren't really favored to do well but we came together for one day and played really well.”
Douglas County finished tied for fourth in the state tournament as Dunkle carded a 1-under-par 70 on the second day to win by one-shot over Legacy's Eric Chen and Spencer Painton of Regis Jesuit.
“We finished a lot higher than was expected,” said Dunkle of the Huskies.
It appeared that Dunkle might not finish atop the individual leader board when his tee-shot on the par-5 18th hole at the Club at Rolling Hills landed behind trees.
“I was kind of stuck behind the trees,” recalled Dunkle. “I saw a gap and knew it would be a little bit of a risky shot but I knew if I pulled it off and maybe made a birdie or an eagle, it would help me.
“I was 220 or 230 yards out, I hit a 6-iron. It went right through the gap where I wanted it to go. I walked up to the green and I was really surprised it was me on the green.”
He left his eagle put three-feet shy of the cup but sank his birdie putt to win the tournament.
Dunkle will start playing this month in national junior tournaments and claims playing high school golf will help.
“To play at the competition level of our high schools and play against great players, it makes winning state surreal,” said Dunkle.
Colorado Community Media All-Star Boys Golf 2012
Eric Chen, Legacy
Jack Cummings, Faith Christian
Kyler Dunkle, Douglas County
Ben Moore, Kent Denver
Spencer Painton, Regis Jesuit
Golfer of the Year: Kyler Dunkle, Douglas County