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Colorado Open, Elway in the spotlight

Happy Colorado Open week.

The Colorado Open starts Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Sonnenalp in Edwards. Admission is free. Parking is at Berry Creek Middle School and there will be a free shuttle to get you to the course. For all the lowdown on the Open, check out the Vail Daily’s special section, which comes out Thursday.

n Speaking of the Open, it pains every fiber of my San Francisco 49er body, but, “Go John Elway. Make the cut.”



n The Sonnenalp had another great event Aug. 17 – The PGA Pro-Am. The format was that you picked a PGA pro before the PGA Championship. You took his final-round score and combined it with your own round that day.

n That having been said, Peter Smith didn’t need any help from his pro Mike Weir. Smith fired a 66 and Weir “dragged” him down with a 75. The duo won by three strokes with a 141. Monty McBride (71) and Charles Howell III (73) along with Craig Afford (73) and Ernie Els (71) tied for second.



n Els was a good pick and a popular one. But other popular picks were not good ones during this crazy PGA Championship – Weir (75), Tiger (73 – Way to go, Clint Wilson, you did Tiger one stroke better in finishing fourth), Phil Mickelson (75) and V.J. Singh (79).

n Props to both Gerry Zimmerman and Ken Schenck, who both picked Chad Campbell, who finished second at Oak Hill.

n And, if you’re curious, no one had the winner, Shaun Micheel.



n This just in, from Sunday’s Sonnenalp Four-Man 2/3 Better Ball Tournament – Don’t ask me the rules for this tourney. … I have no idea – Craig Struve, Jim Sheahan, Alan Aaron and Jeff Nafus combined for the win with a score of 133. The second-place team of Dick Gretz, Bernie Boniface, Jim Morter and George Austen finished at 135.

n And looking at those tournament results, we have one complaint. Where’s Bob Brown? OK, the boss was probably just trying not to embarrass the field. That’s nice of him.

n While it is Open week – and best of luck to all our local pros, even the Dodger fan, Brock Sloan – there are plenty of other doings on the local links:

Cordillera

n Sloan, the head pro at the Summit reports that we had par the hard way this week on No. 3. Linda Gilles was errant on her first tee shot, took the stroke, re-teed it and promptly holed her shot for about the best par she’ll ever have. Way to go, Linda.

n The Doc knows best … Also at the Summit, this week, Dr. Dennis Page eagled No. 15 – 371 yards – by holing out on his second second shot – 97 yards, nothing but cup, thank you very much.

n The Club Championships went off this week at Cordillera. On the men’s side, in low-gross, Carl Anderson took first, followed by John Carlyle and Bart Barnett. In men’s low-net your top three, in order, are Mike Tanner, Gary Edwards, and Tom Zinna. In women’s low-gross, congratulations to Carol Giovan, followed by Shaye Chandler. Debbie McEnany took low-net with Kathy Stephenson not far behind. Well played, everybody.

Eagle Ranch

n Don’t touch that man. You’ll burn yourself. In Men’s League, Mike Thompson went out, shooting a five-under-par 31, with five birdies. He “limped” home on the back nine with a 39 for a two-under 70. We should all learn to limp like that.

n Drinks on Lynn McNeal, of Denver. She had a hole-in-one on No. 5 with an 8-iron from 146 yards. Celebrating with her were Pat McNeal and Mike and Gail Shea.

n Eagle Ranch had a youth tourney this week and it appears we have some future Tigers on the way. What are we talking about? Some future Shaun Micheels. Your winners are Joel Ryan (Boys 14-18), Ethan Smith (Boys 12-13 – Smith won a playoff against Jamison Bair), Weston Blevins (Boys 9-10), Tanner Coulter (Boys U-9), Kelsey Foster (Girls 12-13) and Mikela Nevin (Girls 10-11).

Vail

n The folks at 8,150 feet won’t be left out of the hole-in-one parade. Ben Bockin aced No. 15 from 115 yards with a gap wedge. This glorious moment was attested to by Darcy Cole, Ron Holcomb and Tony Vangabis.

n Vail is hosting its Club Championships Tuesday and Wednesday. This is open to members of Vail’s Men’s and Ladies League, season-pass holders or punch-card holders. You must have a USGA handicap to participate It’s $50 plus applicable greeens and cart fees. There will be different fights based on handicaps. Call (970) 479-2260.

Cotton Ranch

n Cotton Ranch recently had its Club Championships. On the men’s side Jake Firkins won gross, while Chad Brasington took the net title. For the ladies, it was Leslie Clement, who won the gross title, and Andrea Ohde on the net side.

n In that tournament, Firkins and Chip Talon shot 70s for the first round. Wow.

n Reminder … The Jake Mayne Memorial, a four-person scramble, is on Sept. 6. On Sept. 2, the club hosts the PGA West Chapter Pro-Am. For more information, call (970) 524-6200.

Eagle-Vail

n Get your equipment now. Eagle-Vail has a ton of stuff on sale. The 2003 King Cobra rental sets are on the block. This set includes the bag, S350 driver, 3- and 5-woods, steel shaft irons – No. 3-sand wedge – and putter. All for $799. That’s nearly 50 percent off.

n There’s similar deal for the ladies, except that irons are graphite and they start at No. 4. The cost is $849.

n There are even more sets available from the shop. Give the shop a call at (970) 949-5267.

n Cheers to Lowell Fisher, 85 years young, who got the first ace of his career on No. 8 at Willow Creek with a sand wedge.

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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