The expression on Michael Weston's face told the story long before his chip on the No. 18 hole sent his ball crawling across the undulating green and into the cup.
The 12-year-old golfer from Steamboat Springs made the birdie shot look routine, but the two-day tournament he is playing in is anything but routine for the 125 golfers who came from across the state to the Haymaker golf course Wednesday.
Weston was just one of several local golfers playing the Colorado Junior Golf Association's event, part of a larger series of tournaments held across the state.
"There are some good players here, so there is a lot of competition," Weston said after his round.
Weston, who was playing in the 11- to 13-year-old division, finished his first day with a round of 43 -- just five strokes off the pace set by Josh Hardman of Highlands Ranch, who is in first after day one with a 38.
Eric Ptolemy of Parker is second in the division with a score of 39, and Andy Bingle of Breckenridge is in third with a nine-hole total of 40.
The CJGA tournament featured four boys' flights and two girls' flights.
Estes Park golfer Derek Marciniak fired an 18-hole round of 78 to take the lead in the 16- to 18-year-old division. Michael Woodruff, of Montrose, is in second at 79, and Steamboat's Ryan Brees is in third place, just two strokes off the lead, after shooting an opening round of 80.
Jacob Erisman of Golden topped the boys 14-15 group with a first-round score of 76. Thomas Spellman of Westminster is in second at 79, and Tyler Parsloe is third at 82.
Melissa Martin of Grand Junction fired a nine-hole round of 50 to take the lead in the girls 11-13 flight, and Carla Scanniello of Boulder finished the opening day with a 85 to take the lead in the girls 14-18 group.
The tournament also included a championship flight featuring golfers with a handicap of 4.5 or below.
John Scott of Englewood took the early lead with a round of 69. Stuart Drahota of Fort Collins was second at 72, and Eric Winder of Grand Junction took the No. 3 spot at 75. Jeff Franks was the top Steamboat golfer, 10 strokes back at 79.
The junior golfers will return to the course today for the second and final round of play.