48th annual Cottonwood Classic sees heavy competition | CraigDailyPress.com

48th annual Cottonwood Classic sees heavy competition

Rifle’s Kyler Smith claims top prize; Rod Branstetter takes hole-in-one in golf tourney

It was far from three straight days of the exact same action at this year's Cottonwood Classic.

The 48th annual event, which ran Friday through Sunday at Yampa Valley Golf Course, attracted 103 golfers vying for some big cash prizes, with some taking home something more than a financial payout.

Kyler Smith, of Rifle, won the overall tournament, taking two 72 tallies, paired with a one-over 73 on Friday for a score of 217. The 20-year-old, a scratch golfer who also plays for the men's team at Colorado Mesa University, tied for third in last year's tourney and has been playing at YVGC regularly since the age of 12 in junior events.

Even so, the conditions weren't exactly the same as always.

"I think they made it difficult on the greens for being such a short, wide-open course," he said. "If they'd had flags on the middle of the greens all day, it would have been an under-par tournament for sure, but I enjoyed it for sure. I'll be back."

The significant shift in weather that saw torrents of rain hit the course at the tail end of the game didn't phase Smith much, though he prefers to tee off in the sunshine.

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"I'm definitely more of a hot weather person," he laughed while standing under a tent waiting for the results to be posted.

Not all golfers minded Sunday's change in climate. Grand Junction's Matt Wilkinson, who took second place in gross score in the second flight, liked the cooldown.

"It's pretty nice out here instead of the heat, and a little rain kind of slows the greens up," he said. "Day one was really nice for me — I had five birdies and shot a 77. I never shot under 80 before that."

Matt and his father, Frank, who nabbed a second place gross prize in the senior division, played in different flights, though they checked in with each other whenever possible. Matt said he enjoys the way YVGC is spread out, which he sees as a good challenge.

"It's interesting the way its laid out, they make you think on a lot of the holes," he said.

Though his total score of 255 — 93, 81, 81 — wasn't what he would have liked, Rod Branstetter had one of his most memorable rounds on the final day when he sank a hole-in-one on the seventh hole. The award for Closest to the Pin was a happy addendum to what was already a great achievement for the longtime Cottonwood competitor.

"A 1 on your scorecard, you can't get much better than that," he smiled.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

48th annual Cottonwood Classic results

Gross score

Championship Flight

Golfer — Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Gross Total

Kyler Smith — 72,73, 72, 217

Chase Nathe — 76, 71, 81, 228

Jeb Savage — 73, 76, 79, 228

Andrew Sinner — 81, 79, 72, 232

First Flight

Doug Spellman — 77. 78, 82, 237

Pete Heuer — 82, 79, 81, 242

Ali Pirzadeh — 85, 85, 79, 247

Mark Fischer — 84, 85, 81, 250

Second Flight

Greg Hamilton — 80, 80, 87, 247

Matt Wilkinson — 77, 93, 79, 249

Taylor Branstetter — 86, 82, 85, 253

Bob Compere — 83, 88, 83, 254

Third Flight

John Svoboda — 81, 94, 81, 256

Darrell Irvin — 83, 88, 87, 258

Glenn Navratil — 84, 89, 95, 298

Jon Prater — 93, 88, 89, 270

Fourth Flight

Butch Behrman —92, 94, 85, 271

Craig Madsen — 91, 93, 94, 278

Red Woolley — 95, 92, 95, 280

Dwayne Powell —94, 89, 99, 282

Net score

Championship Flight

Golfer — Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Net Total

Roger Gauthier — 67, 70, 72, 209

Jacob Smith — 75, 72, 66, 213

Marc Caldwell — 73, 72, 70, 215

Doug Jones — 72, 72, 74, 218

First Flight

Scott Marsh — 72, 69, 70, 211

Roland Gauthier — 71, 72, 73, 216

Jeff Hauer — 68, 72, 78, 218

Willie Barclay — 72, 76, 74, 222

Michael Wommack — 74, 72, 76, 222

Second Flight

Mike Kuberry — 66, 72, 67, 205

Lou Hahn — 72, 69, 70, 211

Chet Hinkle — 68, 71, 72, 211

Rich Woolley — 73, 73, 67, 213

Third Flight

Jeff Nelson — 66, 72, 68, 206

Hector Flores — 67, 80, 68, 215

Dan Moore — 74, 69, 74, 217

Dee Magnall — 76, 77, 69, 222

Fourth Flight

Jay Denton — 63, 64, 69, 196

Phil Gallagher —60, 75, 77, 212

Joe Brookshire — 80, 68, 67, 215

Jason Mack — 71, 68, 77, 216

Seniors

Gross

First Flight

Doug Jones — 78, 78, 80, 236

Frank Wilkinson — 86, 79, 79, 244

Andy Meach — 83, 82, 80, 245

Ernie Thiel — 91, 77, 77, 245

Second Flight

Greg Hamilton — 80, 80, 87, 247

Lou Hahn —84, 82, 83, 249

Chet Hinkle — 81, 84, 85, 250

Third Flight

Jeff Nelson — 84, 90, 86, 260

Dan Moore — 93, 88, 93, 274

Craig Madsen — 91, 93, 94, 278

Net

First Flight

Pete Heuer — 72, 69, 71, 212

Roland Gauthier — 71, 72, 73, 216

Bob Compere — 71, 76, 71, 218

Second Flight

Mike Kuberry — 66, 72, 67, 205

John Svoboda — 64, 77, 64, 205

Darrell Irvin —66, 71, 70, 207

Third Flight

Jay Denton — 63, 64, 69, 196

Phil Gallagher — 60, 75, 77, 212

Red Woolley — 71, 70, 73, 214

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