Nef Ramos, of Craig, drives from the 17th-hole tee box Sunday during the final day of the 44th annual Cottonwood Classic at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. Ramos said playing with the best competition in the state is a lot of fun and brings the best out of him.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Nef Ramos, of Craig, drives from the 17th-hole tee box Sunday during the final day of the 44th annual Cottonwood Classic at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. Ramos said playing with the best competition in the state is a lot of fun and brings the best out of him.

Gypsum resident takes Cottonwood Classic title with 8-under 208

Cottonwood Classic Leader Board

Results from the 44th annual Cottonwood Classic held Friday to Sunday at the Yampa Valley Golf Course:

Championship flight

(Name — overall score)

  1. Keith Humerichhouse — 208

  2. Jared Bickling — 221

  3. Joe Elliott — 222

  4. Doug Jones — 224

First flight

  1. Daniel Brown — 227

  2. Rich Padon — 234

T3. Mark Fischer — 241

T3. Lou Hahn — 241

T5. Chad Anson — 242

T5. Andy Meach — 242

Second flight

  1. Ron Cromie — 238

  2. Rodney Branstetter — 241

  3. Rick Nelson — 244

  4. Eric Pollock — 245

  5. Greg Hamilton — 249

  6. Rick Rayl — 251

Third flight

  1. Earl Cherry — 233

  2. Jim Rieder — 242

T3. Eric Pocius — 242

T3. Dave Vanwagner — 246

  1. Dennis Bennett — 248

  2. Danny Adams — 250

Fourth flight

  1. Gary Anderson — 253

T2. Darrel Irvin — 256

T2. Brett Sperl — 256

  1. Greg Neal — 257

T5. Randy Peterson — 258

T5. Deems Utzinger — 258

Fifth flight

  1. John Svoboda — 260

  2. Anthony Noble — 261

  3. Ron Nadon — 266

  4. Jeff Nelson — 267

T5. Fred Bishop — 268

T5. Robert Gordon — 268

Sixth flight

  1. Tom Kelly — 255

  2. Adam Hawkins — 269

  3. Dave Dremel — 272

  4. Dave Ruechel — 275

  5. Ed Leech — 277

  6. Kyle Revelle — 281

Seventh flight

Gross

  1. Jeff Richards — 281

Net

  1. Phil Gallagher — 204

  2. Travis Selan — 211

  3. Darrell Sparks — 213

  4. Jack Giessinger — 215

  5. Robert Kelly — 216

In 1995, Keith Humerichouse shot a score of 88 three days in a row during the Cottonwood Classic golf tournament at the Yampa Valley Golf Course.

After 16 years, Humerichouse returned to compete in the 44th annual Cottonwood Classic on Friday to Sunday.

“It feels good to be back and I am a better player after all these years,” he said. “In ’95, I just tried to hit my driver everywhere. But this year, I played smart and used my irons off the tee.”

Improved play translated to an improved score for the left-handed Gypsum resident.

Humerichouse shot a 69 on Friday and finished with a 69 on Sunday to win the championship flight with a score of 208, or eight under par.

“The first day I played really, really good and played a bogey-free round,” he said. “The last two days I just played smart golf and kept hitting putts here and there to keep my score low.”

Humerichouse shot only four bogeys over the three days — three Saturday and one Sunday.

As for the course, Humerichouse said players had to cautious with their drivers and play to the speed of the greens, which ran slow over the weekend.

“The way the course is set up, you really have to work your ball and use your irons,” he said.

“The greens were faster in the past, but you had to respect the greens and it was a premium to stay below the hole.”

Ultimately, Humerichouse said, his ability to keep his ball in the fairway was the difference maker.

“I kept my ball in play all weekend by hitting 120-yard shots,” he said. “I shot my ball out of bounds on the first hole (Sunday) and that was my only bogey of the day. I tried to make it a stress-free three days.”

The Gypsum resident went pro shortly after playing his only other Cottonwood Classic, but returned to amateur status in 2009.

Combined with the cost of a professional tournament — about $1,000 an event — and the birth of his now 3-year-old girl, Humerichouse said the best decision was to give up his dream.

Plus, the competition level at amateur tournaments is great, he said.

“Any of the guys I played with this weekend could easily put up a score under par on a three-day tournament,” he said. “Regardless if I shoot three-under every day, the competition is still going to be right there and make me play the best I can.”

The only Craig resident in the championship flight, Nef Ramos, shot 244 on the weekend.

Ramos described his weekend as average, but pointed out one exceptional moment.

On the ninth hole Saturday, Ramos hit his second shot over the green and near the seventh-hole tee box.

Trying to get back on the green, Ramos said he chipped his shot up, it rolled down the green and in the hole for a birdie.

“That birdie shot on hole nine was the one standout moment for me this weekend,” he said. “I had a few good stretches where I pared a few holes, but overall it was a consistent weekend.”

Ramos said the competition level at the tournament was impressive and made him play his best.

“The guys I played with were definitely intimidating, but it made me focus a lot,” he said. “I had to play my game, but sometimes I could do nothing but be amazed with the guys around me.”

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