Susan Nicholson, a Craig resident, stands on the 10th hole Wednesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Susan and fellow golfer Daniel Brown won club championships in their respective divisions during the 2011 Men’s and Ladies Club Championships on Aug. 20 and 21 at the golf course.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Susan Nicholson, a Craig resident, stands on the 10th hole Wednesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Susan and fellow golfer Daniel Brown won club championships in their respective divisions during the 2011 Men’s and Ladies Club Championships on Aug. 20 and 21 at the golf course.

Yampa Valley Golf Course crowns new club champions

Results from the 2011 Men’s and Ladies Club Championships on Aug. 20 and 21 at Yampa Valley Golf Course:

Men’s first flight — gross

(Name — overall score)

  1. Daniel Brown — 151
  2. Robert Blanton — 155
  3. Ron Cromie — 163

Men’s first flight — net

  1. Greg Hamilton — 134
  2. Taylor Branstetter — 142

T3. Sean Smith — 146

T3. B.C. Chong — 146

Ladies first flight — gross

  1. Susan Nicholson — 169

Ladies first flight — net

  1. Mary Nelson — 140
  2. Susan Utzinger — 141
  3. Patty Bruchez — 152

Men’s second flight — gross

  1. Rick Nelson — 163
  2. Austin Zimmerman — 167
  3. Ron Danner — 171

Men’s second flight — net

  1. Dave O’Mailia — 137

T2. Chad Evenson — 143

T2. Brett Sperl — 143

Ladies second flight — gross

  1. Kathy Dremel — 192

Ladies first flight — net

  1. Jackie Heuer — 152
  2. Lena Anson — 155
  3. Ann Irvin — 156

Men’s third flight — gross

  1. Ethan O’Mailia — 171
  2. Modesto Ortega — 174
  3. Adam Hawkins — 181

Men’s third flight — net

  1. Don Smith — 131
  2. Sammy Marquez — 133
  3. George Angelo — 140

Susan Nicholson said she played golf before she had children, but once her daughters arrived, time for the sport was tough to find.

However, it was only a matter of time before Susan got back into the game.

Her daughters, Amber and Heather, play the game as well, and competed on the team at Moffat County High School. Watching them play left a mark Susan, she said.

“I learned a lot from my husband, but I learned a ton by watching my girls play,” she said. “They had to know the rules and I just watched how they handled situations and the shots they took to improve my own game.”

Susan’s game was in top form Aug. 20 and 21 during the 2011 Men’s and Ladies Club Championships at Yampa Valley Golf Course. She won gross in the ladies first flight with a two-day combined score of 169.

She happened to edge out Amber, who shot a 173, for the honor.

“It’s always a great experience when you win a tournament, but it was bittersweet for me because my daughter shot one of her worst rounds of the season on the first day,” she said. “When she is playing her best, I can’t compete with her.”

Amber was the two-time defending champion of the ladies club.

The men also crowned a new champion, with Nick Bomba, who won four straight championships, not competing.

Daniel Brown, of Craig, took home the title with a 151.

“I thought I played really well the second day,” Brown said. “The first day there were a few little things that didn’t go right, but overall I played good golf.”

Brown said the four par 5s were his saviors over the weekend.

“On the par 3 holes I always seemed to bogey or double-bogey, but I made it up on the par 5 holes,” he said. “Especially on the second day, I seemed to make all my putts.”

After taking third the past two years, Brown had to sweat this year’s tournament out until the very end.

Heading into the 18th hole, Brown was neck and neck for the lead.

He didn’t panic, scoring a birdie on the hole after reaching the green in two shots.

“It was very satisfying to win this tournament,” he said. “My second shot on the 18th hole, I used a 4-wood and hit it about 260 yards to land on the green. It was definitely one of my better shots of my career given the pressure.”

Brown’s performance earned him the top prize of $180.

Susan took home the ladies top prize of $150.

Whether it was driving or chipping, Susan said something always came through to help her score.

“I left a lot of putts out there, but in one area or another I made up for it,” she said. “Sometimes it was my driving that put me in a good position, other times it was my approach and others I would have a great chip to score.”

Still, Susan said, she is always trying to improve her game.

“I always want to play a better round of golf,” she said. “I have been getting a little more confident in my game and I played two good rounds of golf.”

Mary Nelson was first net in the ladies first flight with a 140, while Susan Utzinger (141) and Patty Bruchez (152) took second and third net in the first flight, respectively.

In the second flight, Kathy Dremel took first gross with a 192.

Jackie Heuer (152), Lena Anson (155) and Ann Irvin (156) took first through third net, respectively.

The men’s club consisted of three flights.

Robert Blanton and Ron Cromie came in behind Brown in gross in the first flight with a 155 and a 163, respectively.

Greg Hamilton won the net in the first flight with a 134, followed by Taylor Branstetter (142) and B.C. Chong and Sean Smith in a tie for third with a 146.

Rick Nelson took first gross in the second flight with a 163 while Austin Zimmerman took second with a 167 and Ron Danner took third with a 171.

For net in the second flight, Dave O’Mailia won with 137 and Chad Evenson and Brett Sperl tied for second with a 143.

Ethan O’Mailia won the gross in the third flight with a 133. Modesto Ortega shot a 174 for second and Adam Hawkins took third with a 181.

Don Smith (131), Sammy Marquez (133) and George Angelo (140) finished net first through third in the third flight.

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