Golf pros from around the country gathered at the Hillcrest Golf Club for the 60th annual TBK Bank Navajo Trail Open on Aug. 27-30.
An amateur, however, bested all of them.
Fort Lewis College’s Darren Edwards shot a 66, 69 and 65 to finish with a 200 and as the tournament’s overall champion. He finished two shots better than the pro champion, Wil Collins of Albuquerque.
“That’s pretty impressive,” said Hillcrest golf pro Brett Wolf, noting that it was only about the third time in the tournament’s 60-year history that an amateur claimed the overall title. “The championship flight was just as strong as the pro flight.”
“Darren is my captain and he’s a leader,” said Fort Lewis head coach Jim Foltz. “When you have someone like that leading your team, nothing bad can happen.” The coach called Edwards a gentleman and said he wouldn’t be surprised of he turned pro after his senior season.
Edwards is a senior and team captain for the Skyhawks.
“He practices here, so it’s nice to see that practice paying off,” Wolf said.
In general, Wolf said, the amateur side was really strong, noting that the cutoff for the final round was a 1.6 handicap, and it’s normally about a 3 handicap.
“It was nice to see most of the Fort Lewis golfers playing and doing well,” Wolf said.
Durango’s Kermitt Barrett tied Sean Griswold for second in the championship flight at 217.
Collins, however, won the professional flight and the tournament’s top prize of $5,500.
Collins had to rally after shooting a 73 on Friday’s opening round, which was six shots behind the leader, Santa Clara’s (Calif) John Greco.
Collins knocked off 8 strokes on Saturday to move into a tie for fourth with Dolores’ Curtis Garver. Greco shot a 67 on Saturday to stay in the lead by four strokes.
On Sunday, however, Collins shot the best round of the tournament, a 64 to pass Greco, who shot a 69, and win the tournament’s pro division.
His final round was a bogey-free 64 with seven birdies and the rest pars to earn the title with a three-day 202. Greco finished second with a 203 and Andrew Buckle, of Scottsdale, Arizona, finished third with a 206.
The course record is a 61, which Dusty Fielding shot at the Navajo Trail Open in 2015.
Devin Schreiner led the local professional contingent with a three-day score of 218. Cory Gillespie shot a 221, Wolf shot a 237 and Randy Kahn shot a 244. Kahn, however, finished second in the pro’s senior division.
Other pros finishing in the money included Logan Holt (209), Sam Triplett (209), Mitchell Homb (212), Tony Mike Jr. (212), Garver (213), Robert Kalinowski (214), Drew Trujillo (215), Dylan Healey (215), Gabe Alcala (216), Andrew Romano (217) and Alex DeBry (218).
In the first flight, Roger Walters shot a 215 to win the title. Dax Loerwald took second in the flight with a 224.
Robby Davis shot a 234 to win the second flight, four shots better than Greg Knutsen.
Mark Raney, meanwhile, made a hole-in-one on hole No. 9 during the tournament.
The club also utilized several tee boxes that are further away for the Navajo, while the course was in good shape.
“The course was primed and ready to go,” Wolf said. “It was the best it’s ever been for this tournament.”