WINDSOR -- To survive a four-person playoff for a state championship in boys golf is one thing.
To realize it almost didn’t happen and then to survive that playoff and win it all?
Maybe that’s why Riverdale Ridge’s Bradley Weinmaster was overcome with tears, happiness and joy – sometimes all at the same time -- Oct. 4 at Pelican Lakes Golf Course.
Weinmaster, who is a junior, finished the 18th hole with a par-4 and a 1-under par round of 71. But when he looked at his scorecard, he was in fifth place after tie-breakers.
“I was in tears walking off the hole,” Weinmaster said. “Zane (Zane Aiken of Ponderosa) told me his scores were wrong. I was in second, and I thought ‘next year.’ I was like ‘Oh my God. I have a chance.’ God works ways.”
He Sawyer Klein of Denver North, Aiken and Kellen Ball of Windsor had to play one more hole. Each had scores of 144 through the 36-hole tournament. It was Weinmaster’s second, four-man playoff this season.
Weinmaster’s tee shot crept onto the front of the green. His second shot came to within 5 feet of the pin. Weinmaster sank the putt for a birdie and the state title.
“On the first one (four-man playoff), I learned to calm myself down, don’t take any big clubs off the tee,” he said. “I just wanted to hit the fairway. It was the same shot I just hit on 18. I talked to the coach. We agreed on ‘the middle of the green. Do not try anything stupid.’ I pulled it off. I knew I could two-putt it. My putter is my best club. I knew had to put two decent strokes.
“The moment I hit it, I knew it was going in. It was electric.”
After he sank the winning putt, Weinmaster made the victory lap around the 18th green, hugging family, friends, other golfers and teammates .. and showing a lot of emotion.
“I’ve wanted this for so long,” Weinmaster said. “I wanted it to bad after dropping it last year. I had the lead last year, and I threw it. It ate at me to where I wasn’t happy with myself unless I won every tournament.”
Weinmaster has played golf the past 13 years, though he also said, “I was never really that good.”
“After I lost last year, I wanted it so bad,” he said. “I worked too hard to not get something out of it. I had some great opponents. To come out and win state? I don’t know if there are words for it.”
Weinmaster’s offseason workout included a lot of time in the gym .. perhaps a little too much.
“It didn’t help me. I don’t have a good back,” he said. “I worked on speed training, getting the club head speed up, three hours a day, every day. I’ve been playing more competitive tournaments. That’s taught me to strengthen myself. It helped it click, that mental gap between not playing well and forgiving yourself when a bad shot happens.”
The worst finish Weinmaster posted this season was third place. He won eight tournaments and was the runner-up in two others.”
“I needed something to happen,” he said. “I worked so hard. I’m very proud of myself. I don’t normally say that. I shot a 65, and I was pissed at the end. You can ask ‘em. I’m never happy. For this to happen, it’s unbelievable. I’m still shaking.”