Another hole-in-one for Ute Mtn. Oil Classic

Journal/Sam Green

Bill Sanchez putts as Kiera Keetch holds the flag on the seventh green of Conquistador Golf Course Saturday during the Ute Mountain Oil Classic. Waiting their turn to putt are David Hill and Jeff Keetch in the best-ball tournament.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

A little rain. A little delay. But no problem.

A total of 188 golfers turned out for the 23rd rendition of the Ute Mountain Oil Classic on Saturday at Conquistador Golf Course.

The team best-ball tournament brought golfers in from different states, as well as throughout Colorado. The 188 total is the maximum allotment. A higher total would have turned out, but there has to be a cutoff at some point.

“Every year these guys come out. Everybody has a great time in the tournament and this was no exception,” said Conquistador Golf Course club professional Micah Rudosky. “It’s great with the amount of players that we have. We get a lot of out-of-towners and it showcases this place. We could have been up more, but we have to limit.”

A main reason the Ute Mountain Oil Classic has held its strong tournament showing every year is because of the pristine fairways and greens at Conquistador Golf Course. The Ute Mountain Oil Classic is one of the largest tournaments at Conquistador.

“The condition of the course, what Wayne Becker and our maintenance staff does, has been fabulous,” said Rudosky about the head grounds keeper and his staff. “It’s great to have all these players out seeing that out here. I’m just real happy with what these guys do for us out here.”

The team of R. Nelson, J. Zion, R. Howell and M. Rosenbaugh won with a combined average score of 59. A. Nelson, M. Nelson, C. Blackmer and R. Smith took second at 61. Ute Mountain Oil Classic committee member Randy Curtis, and teammates Sherri Franchini, R. Thompson and R. Branson were third with a 61. M. Franchini, Larry Suckla, B. Smart and S. Jarvis finished fourth, scoring 63.

“I thought it went real well. A little rain delay, but I think everyone had a good time,” said Ute Mountain Oil Classic committee member Bruce Riddell. “The biggest part, though, is to contribute to the Shriners travel fund, which helps kids in the Four Corners area here.”

That contribution from the Ute Mountain Oil Classic committee to the Escalante Shrine Club was $10,000. Money is collected from tournament sponsors and then donated. The $10,000 goes toward the Escalante Children’s Foundation Fund. Funding was created by the Escalante Shrine Club for providing travel assistance to families traveling to Shrine Medical Facilities.

The 24th Ute Mountain Oil Classic will be in August 2013.

Upcoming tournaments at Conquistador Golf Course include the Conquistador Women’s Golf Association Tee Cup Invitational on Tuesday, Aug. 14, and the Pinto Bean Classic the weekend of Aug. 18-19. The Pinto Bean Classic is Conquistador’s biggest tournament of the year.

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