Spain Park sophomore Chase Kyes wins Class 7A State Championship
Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
AUBURN – Motivated off a runner-up finish at the 2022 Class 7A State Championship, Spain Park sophomore Chase Kyes joined an elite membership on Tuesday, May 16 at Robert Trent Jones Grand National golf course in Auburn.
Still a sophomore, the young star used last year’s second-place finish by three strokes to fuel a strong closing 18 holes at the 2023 championship, firing a 6-under round of 66 to storm from a shot back heading into the final round into the winner’s circle, claiming the Class 7A State Championship.
Kyes outlasted Jack Mitchell of James Clemens at 5-under and Will Stelt of Auburn at 2-under as the only three players under par in both rounds of the state tournament.
Those were the only three players to finish under par for the tournament, but Kyes was able to pull away on the final day, putting together a 5-under 31 on the front nine that set the tone for his final round.
He had just one blemish on the card in a clutch round of golf, making a double bogey six on the par-4 10th hole as part of his 66.
Kyes bounced back from that double bogey with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole and went on to finish with birdies on 14 and 16 as well to card a 35 on the back nine and a 9-under par finish for the tournament to claim the trophy by four shots.
He trailed by one shot going into the final round after shooting a 69 in the opening round, which put him at 3-under and one of five players under par for the opening round.
He trailed Mitchell, who shot a 68 in the first round, by one shot entering Wednesday, while he was ahead of three other golfers by two strokes.
His opening round featured five birdies and two bogeys, shooting a 3-under 33 on the front nine with four of those birdies, and an even-par 36 on the back nine to maintain second place going into the second round.
Kyes, however, bested the entire field by at least five shots in the final round, with the next closest rounds featuring 71s from three different golfers.
It marked a special finish to a strong sophomore season for Kyes, who totaled 12 under-par rounds during the season with five tournament victories and several other co-medalist finishes.
It also marked his second consecutive top-two finish in the Class 7A State Tournament in his first two years of high school after finishing second last year to Mitchell, who he overcame to win this year’s championship, earning redemption.
Kyes now joins former Spain Park players Michael Johnson, Trey Del Greco, Robby Prater, Connor Smith and Patrick Martin as state champions, while he also joins an elite list of players who have won 7A titles with two years of high school still left.