Nicholson shoots top net score at 25th annual Silver Bullet |

Nicholson shoots top net score at 25th annual Silver Bullet

Joshua Gordon

Amber Nicholson, pictured above in a tournament last year, shot a 131 net score during the 25th annual Silver Bullet Classic two-day golf tournament Saturday and Sunday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Nicholson, a Craig resident, said she had to adjust her swing the second day, earning her a one-over-par 73 on Sunday and the top net score in the championship flight.

Struggling with her swing Sunday, Amber Nicholson went to her caddy for advice on the second day of the 25th annual Silver Bullet Classic.

On the fifth hole at Yampa Valley Golf Course, Nicholson, a Craig resident, took her caddy's advice, swung her club and watched as her ball went into the hole for an eagle.

Or so she thought.

"On the first day, I could swing the club, but I couldn't putt, and (Sunday), it was the opposite," Nicholson said. "I finally had a good swing and the ball went into the cup, but bounced back out.

"I ended up two putting for par."

While the ball bouncing out was unfortunate, Nicholson used the swinging technique as she moved onto the back nine, shooting a one-over-par 73 and wrapping up the first-place net score in the championship flight with a 131.

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Nicholson shot a 78 the first day and a 151 gross score over the two days.

"The competition level was great, with Kim Eaton having a plus 2 handicap and playing in multiple amateur tournaments," Nicholson said. "The caliber golf I got to play with helped me learn and improve my game."

Eaton, of Greeley, took first place for gross score, shooting under par both days and finishing with a score of 139.

Nicholson said the first day she had problems with her balls lipping out of the hole, causing her to three-putt a couple of holes and grab only one birdie.

Still, she said, the annual tournament was a lot of fun.

"I played better than my handicap, which I haven't been doing lately," she said. "It is nice to get out and play in this tournament, and you get to see a lot of good golf being played."

April Branstetter, of Hayden, said while her second round wasn't great, her play on the first day was an improvement and landed her a tie for third place in net score with a 142 in the third flight.

"I stayed relaxed and focused on just golf," Branstetter said. "(Sunday), I was trying to better my score and get first, but overall I was happy with my play."

Branstetter said her putting and chipping were strong over the weekend, but her second shot is what held her back.

Using the 3-wood, she said she kept missing her target before switching to the 5-iron.

"I didn't turn my game around until I switched from the 3-wood," Branstetter said. "I had no complaints with my putting and I was able to play against myself and better my game at least one of the days."

Branstetter said she was happy with the way players were paired together, but before next year's event, she plans to seek professional advice.

"I think I am going to take some lessons before the next Silver Bullet," she said. "I am a good leaner and I think I can strengthen areas of game with a little help."

Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at

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Results from the 25th annual Silver Bullet Classic

Championship flight

(Name — overall score)


  1. Kim Eaton — 139

  2. Stacy Arnold — 151

  3. Loren Forney — 158

T4. Robin Walker — 163

T4. Kim Ware — 163


  1. Amber Nicholson —131

  2. Tammi Holt — 140

  3. Maria Tafuri — 142

T4. Tammy Warnke — 143

T4. Allison Webb — 143

First flight


  1. Penny Sykes — 165

  2. Pam Buerger — 170

  3. Juna Orr — 171

  4. Jenny Elliott — 173


  1. Christy Rolando — 139

  2. Shella Naski — 141

T3. Nondis Lowther — 143

T3. Sue Utzinger — 143

Second flight


  1. Lisa McCurdy — 174

T2. Kay Ambrose — 183

T2. Sue Browning — 183

  1. Marge Fleming — 187


T1. Jackie Heuer — 133

T1. Peggy Back — 133

  1. Kathy Dremel — 144

  2. Romaine Hamilton — 147

Third flight


  1. Vicki Ripp — 187

  2. Candy Hammerich — 190

  3. Ann Irvin — 197

T4. Laurel Bagen — 205

T4. Karin Barnwell — 205


  1. Suzanne Caldwell — 132

  2. Cindy Lonis — 141

T3. April Branstetter — 142

T3. Rebecca Ludlow — 142