It's a bit premature to call it a tradition, but a father-son team winning the Yampa Valley Golf Course's Mosquito Open is becoming as common as rain during the Grand Olde West Days celebration.
"You see a lot of family members playing together at the Mosquito because of the three-day weekend," YVGC professional Chuck Cobb said. "People are up for graduation or for everything else in Craig and they take a day to come play some golf together. Today we had brother and brother-in-law, father and son and grandfather and grandson play together."
For three years, the Mosquito has been a two-man scramble format. Two of those three years a father-son team has shot the lowest score.
Randy Knoche and his son, Mike, turned in a 65 for the best score of the 2005 tournament. Last year, Bill Ivy and his son, Preston, had the tournament's best gross score. The Knoches had the lowest net score last year.
The Knoches turned in the best score from the second flight. Considering the second-best gross score in the second flight was a 78, the term "sand bagging" was thrown around a bit as scores were being posted.
Mike Knoche heard the talk.
"I hadn't played but twice this spring, so I came up here this week and played before the tournament to get a handicap," the recent graduate of Mesa State College said.
Mike shot a 99 during his round earlier this week, and it gave him and his dad handicap of nine, which was one stroke from qualifying for the first flight.
"I feel bad (about being in the second flight) but I can't help that we just played lights out," he said.
When all was said and done, most agreed that it was simply a good day for the Knoche fellas.
"This was one of the easiest rounds of golf I've ever played," Mike said. "We shot two under in the Chapman format, and when you do well in Chapman, that usually means good things. All day, it seemed like one of us had a good shot every ball."
The tournament was divided into three, six-hole sections. Six of the holes were a best-ball format, six were scramble, and six were Chapman (in which a player hits his teammate's shot).
A foursome that rode the course together turned in the top two scores of the first flight. Steve Dodson and Scott Berry played with Preston Ivy and Mike Ludlow. The two pairs were close throughout the day, with Dodson and Berry leading by one stroke when a rain delay postponed their finish. When it cleared up, Dodson and Berry turned in two pars, and Ivy and Ludlow had a par, bogey to finish the day.
"I always have fun when I play with Steve," Ivy said. "That's what it's all about. Coming out and meeting the people and having fun."
Ivy, from Craig, and Dodson, from Steamboat Springs, are two of the best amateurs to play in the area, so they frequently are teamed up in tournaments.
"I think you guys had a birdie put at every hole didn't you?" Ivy asked Dodson.
"All but one," Dodson said.
"See, it was their day today," Ivy said.
"The course was in such good shape, it made it easy," Dodson said.
Dodson and Berry turned in a 66, and Ivy and Ludlow took home the second-place check in gross with a 68.
The net winners in the first gross were Lou Hahn and Rocky Anderson with a 70.
Chuck and Tom Kistler tied with Lowell and Marv Pearson the top net scores in the second flight with 67s.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.