COLORADO – The largest Amateur Golf Championship in the world has been taking place just south of Wyoming this week, pitting some of the very best collegiate and high school golfers from all over the globe against each other. One of those golfers, Riverton’s Parker Paxton, was the only Wyomingite representing the Cowboy State at the huge USGA event. 

The first day started off well for the Riverton phenom, getting a birdie on the first hole before hitting even par the next two. That’s when things started to slide for Paxton, bogeying hole number four and hole number six to bring his score to (+1). Paxton would keep that score around the ninth hole and entered the back nine one over par. 

Hole number ten ended with par, but Paxton slipped up on a par three during hole number eleven. Instead of par, or bogey, or even double-bogey, Paxton pulled a quadruple-bogey before heading to hole number 12 and dropping a bogey there as well. Two birdies on 14 and 16 helped but one final bogey ended Paxton’s first day with a 77 (+5). 

Parker Paxton made his putt on the 17th green Tuesday at Cherry Hills Country Club. (p/c Carl Cote)

“[I] played decent but got some bad breaks and had that quadruple bogey,” Paxton texted after the first round. “The score doesn’t reflect how I played.”

After the first day it was obvious Paxton wasn’t super proud of the score he posted, but that didn’t diminish his spirit heading into the second day at Cherry Hills Golf Course. 

“One bad swing man … On a course like this it punishes misses. I’ll give ‘em hell tomorrow,” Paxton said before heading back to the hotel. 

Sadly, that second day was even tougher for the future Colorado Buffalo as he started off with back-to-back bogies. In fact, through the first nine holes Paxton only recorded a par on two holes while bogeying four more and double-bogeying hole number five. The back nine was a little kinder to the Riverton senior, ending with a birdie and a par after just one more bogey. 

In the end, Paxton dropped an 81 (+10) on the second day and was unfortunately not able to make the cut for the final days of play. 

Parker Paxton and Jade Dion watched a competitor putt Tuesday at the Amateur Championship. (p/c Carl Cote)

“I didn’t have my best … I got wore down,” Paxton said in a text after the second day. “It makes you appreciate when you play good.”

It’s not all bad news though. Not only did Paxton get the opportunity to represent his state, county and hometown in the largest amateur golf tournament of the year, but he now has new fuel to help boost his play during the Wolverines’ 2023 season where they look to make it three-straight state championships and four-straight individual state championships for Paxton. 

BY: Shawn O’Brate