Faris, Faris and Ross win the Walsenburg Invitational
by Guy Blasi
WALSENBURG- It was a tight scramble as the three-man team of Andy Faris, Bert Faris and Jeff Ross from the second flight carded a total 113.6 total-strokes-minus-handicap to win the 35th Annual Walsenburg Invitational this past weekend at the Walsenburg Golf Club. A total of 27 teams in four flights entered this year’s event.
Closely following in second place, two-tenths of a stroke behind, was the team of Wayne Espinosa, Leon Medina and Pat Espinoza with 113.8 stokes.
Third place came out of the fourth flight to the team of Brian Patch, Jess Kleinschmidt and Robert Maes with a team total of 114.4. Out of the first flight came the fourth place finishers, Tony Encinas, Rich Falsetto and Eugene Marcus with a score of 116.0 strokes.
The weather conditions on Saturday were less than favorable with cool, rainy weather. Sunday’s weather rebounded with a very warm day. Both days were windy due to an upper-level air disturbance. This year’s tournament paired local and visiting golfers in the popular scramble format. The course was in excellent condition due to extra hard work from the groundskeepers. Golfers had a chance on Sunday to win $10,000 with a hole in one on the sixth hole, but there were no big money winners this year.
ESPN Challenge was disappointing
by David Tesitor
La Veta- The second ESPN Challenge Tournament held last weekend at Grandote Peaks golf course in La Veta turned out to be disappointing as only eight teams participated in the competition to determine which team will move on to the Colorado finals for a chance to compete as the best two-person team in America. In contrast, seventeen teams competed in 2008.
The cold and blustery day contributed to the poor showing as did two other area tournaments. The Walsenburg Invitational (see related story) as well as a tournament at Cougar Canyon in Trinidad vied for the attention of the area duffers. When the smoke settled, the team of Andrew Tapia and Mike Campbell captured the first place trophy with a low gross of 70. The team of Jon Harp and Paul White took first place in the net division with a score of 58. Both teams will move on to the Valley Country Club in Aurora this August for a chance to vie as the best amateur twosome golf team in America.
The format was a best score for the team. En route to his victory, Tapia’s 275-yard drive on the number eleven was spectacular enough, but when he chipped in from 60 yards for the eagle two, the competition knew they had a tough road ahead of them if they wanted to defeat the returning champion.
The team of Jack DiGrado and Neil Cocco finished second with a net 61. Other participants in the challenge included, Tom Lessar, Ron McGee, Ken Heikes, Bill Blystone, Dave Middleton, Freida Lessar, Marvin and June Schnell, Bill Harman and Tom Evers.
The ESPN Challenge will crown the winning team October 22-24 in Las Vegas, NV. In last year’s tournament, the team of Tapia and Tom Schultz took forth place honors. At one point in the tournament, they led their competition.