Andrews sinks chip in Senior Games

Walt Street of Grand Junction chips onto a green at Lincoln Park during the 2009 Western Colorado Senior Games Golf Chip/Putt event.

Ed Andrews has been to the past eight Western Colorado Senior Games in Grand Junction, but Wednesday, he did something he’d never done.

During the golf chip/putt competition at Lincoln Park Golf Course, Andrews was the first Western Slope Senior Games athlete of the day to sink his chip.

“That was so much luck,” Andrews said. “Golf’s about 80 percent luck and 20 percent skill and today the golf god was looking out for me.”

Andrews took the first of his five attempts to get closest to the pin, and punched the ball onto the green, then watched it roll into the cup. As impressive as it was,

Andrews gets his share of practice — the 69-year-old Grand Junction resident is a course ranger at Chipeta Golf Course.

“I play a lot of golf,” Andrews said. “So I’ll play out there, then come over (to Lincoln Park) to practice.”

The chip-in was a first for Andrews.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, and I’ll probably never do it again,” he said.

Andrews was one of 105 athletes who registered for the Senior Games, which run through Friday. Andrews is a quintessential participant, trying his skills in more than one event. He’s competing in golf, tennis and basketball, as well as track and field.

“You have all these people out here and they are all having fun,” Andrews said.

“There is a competitive flair to it, because everyone has that in them to compete.”

One athlete who still loves to compete is 80-year-old Verna Quintana of Montrose.

Quintana was on the course with Andrews for the chip/putt competition, and also is registered for 11 other events. Among her events are basketball, horseshoes, discus, shot put and the 50-yard dash.

“I’m very competitive,” Quintana said. “But it got to the point where there was nothing competitive anymore, so we started the Senior Games in Montrose. Now we come down here and it’s like a homecoming because you know everyone.”

One of the organizers of the events, Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Coordinator Lorie Gregor, said people love the camaraderie the games provide.

“We did the 5K run/walk this morning and everyone had such a great time,” Gregor said. “They were laughing, cheering each other on at the finish line and supporting each other.”


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