Cottonwood Classic wraps up weekend of golf in Moffat County |

Cottonwood Classic wraps up weekend of golf in Moffat County

Joshua Gordon

Tim Rolando, of Craig, hits his ball along with some grass at Yampa Valley Golf Course. More than $15,000 in prizes were awarded after the three-round tournament, which ended Sunday.

After three days and three good rounds of golf, John Svoboda walked away a champion.

"I played better than I ever have at a Cottonwood Classic," Svoboda said. "I just played my own game."

Svoboda was the winner of the fourth flight, shooting a three-round combined score of 247, 12 strokes better than second place.

The 43rd Annual Cottonwood Classic, which started Friday and finished Sunday at Yampa Valley Golf Course, was played through rainy weather, as many delays occurred over the weekend.

The Cottonwood, which is a men's tournament, is one of the golf courses biggest tournaments.

As rain and lightning extended the already long days Friday and Sunday, high winds forced players to change their game Saturday.

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"I left my drivers in the bag and went with my irons," Svoboda said. "I had to play against the wind most of Sat-


But, after 15 years of playing in the same tournament, Svoboda said he wasn't going to let the weather deter him.

"I had a pretty solid lead after the first day," he said. "After that, I knew I just needed to play a solid game and I had a chance to win my flight."

Walking away the champion, Svoboda also took home $700 in prize money.

All told, there were six flights that were set up based on the players' handicaps.

In the championship flight, Doug Jones was the winner with a combined score of 223.

Craig resident Nick Bomba tied for eighth-place in the championship flight with a combined score of 228.

Bomba, who is the reigning club champion, played a consistent game, shooting 77 on Friday, 75 on Saturday and 76 on Sunday, but said he let himself down on putting.

"If I could have putted better on the first two days I could have won," he said.

Bomba said a lost ball on hole 17 might have cost him the tournament.

"Losing the ball probably cost me three strokes," he said. "I played a good game, but there were some mishaps."

Todd Trapp played in the fifth flight, and while he didn't place, he said the tournament was a blast.

"I played decent, but not the greatest," he said. "I needed to hit a little more consistent, but it was a lot of fun to be out here."

Trapp, the Moffat County High School track and cross country coach, said he was participating in his first golf tournament because he likes to compete.

"I compete in a lot of other sports," he said. "I find it fun to compete with people, and I have been practicing all summer on my golf game."

While competing was on the top of the list for many, some were just out to have a good time playing golf.

Gary Baysinger, owner of the Tin Cup Grill at the golf course, said the tournament allows him to get out and enjoy three days of golf.

"I find it relaxing to be out in the sun and play with my friends," he said. "I didn't play the best, but I had a good time."

Results from the Cottonwood Classic at Yampa Valley Golf Course:

Championship flight:

  1. Doug Jones 223

T2. Joe Elliott 225

T2. Steve Dodson 225

  1. Roger Walters 226

T5. Chace Nathe 227

T5. Jeb Savage 227

T5. Randy Rouse 227

T8. Frank Wilkinson 228

T8. Nick Bomba 228

First flight:

  1. Marty Coleman 246

  2. Mark Fischer 246

  3. Bobby Compere 248

T4. Earl Cherry 251

T4. Mike Wommack 251

  1. Pete Heuer 252

T7. Michael Campbell 253

T7. Taylor Branstetter 253

Second flight:

  1. Eric Pollock 243

  2. Frank Ayala 246

T3. Eric Pocius 247

T3. John Savage 247

T3. Rodney Branstetter 247

T6. Austin Zimmerman 249

T6. Jim Rieder 249

T6. Rich Woolley 249

T6. Ronald Cromie 249

Third flight:

  1. Jim Seals 244

  2. Curtis Gray 257

  3. Bob Hensley 260

  4. Jim Liljedahl 262

T5. Barry Alford 263

T5. Jay Denton 263

T5. Jon Burnett 263

  1. Danny Adams 264

Fourth flight:

  1. John Svoboda 247

  2. Michael Chastain 259

  3. Anthony Noble 269

T4. Ed Leech 272

T4. Gary Anderson 272

T4. Jim Farris 272

T4. Pete Pleasant 272

T8. Larry Seip 275

T8. Mark Gannon 275

Fifth flight:

Top gross:

  1. Grant Johns 274

Top net (gross score/net score):

T1. Butch Behrman 289/211

T1. Keith Branstetter 277/211

  1. George Angelo 282/213

  2. Gregg Pietak 286/214

  3. Bob Kelly 296/215

  4. Jim Denton 297/216

  5. Bill Stewart 283/217

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