As a senior at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana a year ago last spring, he led his team to the 2021 Trinity League Championship and CIF Division 1 title. He took the “gap” year between high school and college, but competed in several amateur events, and with very impressive results.
“The extra year provided by a gap year gave me more time to really assess what I wanted for my next step in my golf career and my educational goal,” Keilch said. “After evaluating many schools and their educational opportunities, I chose CU for several reasons.
“CU is a top-notch university with an excellent business school, which will be my chosen field,” he said. “The very competitive schedule played by CU will give me the opportunity to compete regularly against some of the best college players in the country. I believe the playing and training facilities rival the best programs in the country and with a very talented I am confident that Coach Edwards and Assistant Coach (Derek) Tolan will bring out the best in us as we pursue both conference and national success.”
The COVID-19 pandemic canceled all high school competitions in the state of California his freshman year, so he was left to compete in the few amateur tournaments available to him. Undeterred, he led Mater Dei in scoring average as a senior, with a figure of 34.8 calculated for 9-hole double matches.
As a 16-year-old, during the 2019 US Open local qualifier at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, Calif., he ran off the course setting a course record of 9 under par 61, a brand that still stands. Winning by six strokes, he hit all 14 fairways on his way to score an eagle and nine birdies on the par 70; he had a 29 when he made the turn. Earlier that year, he won the PGA Division Toyota Cup championship at Industry (Calif.) Hills, winning by six strokes after going 70-62 at 142 (10 under) (the 62 established the new low round for the event).
He was a medalist — and the only under-par player — in the 2021 U.S. Amateur Section Qualifier at Mission Viejo (California) Country Club, as he went 3-under 70-69—139. He shot two very steady rounds with seven birdies, 26 pars, two bogeys and a double while winning by three strokes. He missed the cut in the American amateur, as he opened with an 83 that left him well behind the projected cut, but he rallied to shoot a 1 of 71 in the second round.
Keilch also finished seventh in the 2021 Northern California Open at Coyote Creek Golf Club (in Morgan Hill) with a 71-71-69—211 effort from 5 under 71, finishing as the second weakest amateur in the event.
Other best efforts include a second-place finish in the 2021 Agave Amateur at Shadow Hills Golf Club (Indio, CA) with a score of 68-66-71—205 (-8) and a tied ninth-place finish in the Desert Hobbyist at Southern Dunes. Golf Club in Maricopa, Arizona, with a 3-under effort of 213. Both events are part of the Saguaro Amateur Series which was co-created by CU’s Edwards in 2014.
“We’re really excited to add Robby to Class 22 and our team starting this fall,” Edwards said. “He’s shot some of the lowest rounds in junior golf in Southern California of any player in recent memory, and had some really great runs. He’s used the gap year to really take advantage of it in a positive way and we we feel really lucky to add him to the class.”
Last November, Edwards signed Swanson Huntera senior at Northfield High School in Denver and Ty Holbrooka senior at Granbury (Texas) High School, both of whom have extensive prep and amateur resumes.
(His last name is pronounced “kelch”… the i is silent.)