Berthoud golfer Cameron Poll qualifies for state

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

There is no greater feeling that reaching a goal one has set for themselves.

Berthoud High School (BHS) golfer Cameron Poll was able to enjoy that experience on Tuesday afternoon. The junior carded an 83 at Boomerang Links in Greeley in the 4A Region 3 tournament to secure himself a spot in the two-day, 36-hole 4A state championship.

“After all of these years playing golf, I cannot think of a greater accomplishment,” Poll said when asked what it meant to qualify for state, and added, “all the hard work has paid off.” Berthoud Head Coach Mike Burkett was beaming with pride talking about Poll’s round, saying, “He never quit, even when he started to struggle, I stayed with him the entire back nine, I’m so proud of him.”

Boomerang is a challenging links-style course with a back-nine that is particularly difficult. The course has undulating fairways, slick greens and more than 50 bunkers on its 18-hole layout. The course is also spread out over a large swath of land, meaning high school golfers, who are not allowed the luxury of golf carts, also have to deal with walking the long trek. The dry conditions and unpredictable winds typical of the Northern Colorado climate do not make things easier, and Tuesday was no different.

Poll started off red-hot, going two-under par after the first five holes and finding himself in the lead of the tournament. Poll stayed steady, giving back only three strokes and ultimately finishing the front nine at one-over. He made the turn knowing the challenges the second nine provided and ready to face them head-on.

All season long Burkett has spoken of Poll’s mental toughness and his focus, traits that are perhaps more critical in golf than in any other sport. They are also traits that help players in the most crucial parts of the game – putts and shots around the green. It was in these areas where Poll shined and, in his words, earned his spot at state.

“On the back nine, I was able to get a lot of crucial up and downs to save strokes and my putting was a lot better than usual,” Poll said. “I knew I had to grind out the back nine and in the end I was able make it work out for me.” Burkett extolled Poll’s resolve, even when the going got tough, on the back nine. “Cam and I have been talking about having grit all year,” Burkett said. “He’s shown it over and over again. He had to sink some huge four-foot putts coming in. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

“You cannot let one hole get in your way, it’s really important to persevere for the whole 18 holes,” Poll said when asked what he has learned this year that he believes will help him at state.

The 4A state tournament will be played this year at Raccoon Creek in Littleton on Oct. 2-3. Poll said he has not played the course yet and will put in plenty of time preparing, yet, “the main goal going into state is to go out and shoot low and have as much fun.”

 

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