Portie finishes at 16-under-par 197 to win Rocky Mountain Open
Ben Portie’s consistency is what sets him apart on the golf course.
Sunday at Tiara Rado Golf Course, Portie finished with a 1-under-par 70 to push his three-day total to an impressive 16-under-par 197.
That performance was good enough to win the 72nd Enstrom’s Rocky Mountain Open.
“I knew I didn’t have to take as many chances out there,” Portie said. “My putter was working well all weekend, and it was nice to get the win here.”
Portie gave himself a three-stroke cushion heading into Sunday’s final round by shooting a 65 on Friday at Tiara Rado and a 62 on Saturday at Bookcliff County Club.
The 33-year-old Westminster resident put together another impressive round on the final day, but relented on the back nine by carding his first two bogies of the 54-hole tournament.
“When you have a four or five-stroke lead, your mind can start playing tricks on you,” Portie said. “It’s a grind mentally because you don’t want to give that up.”
A trio of Utah players in Dusty Fielding, Boyd Summerhays and Nick Killpack pushed Portie on the back nine, but couldn’t overcome the deficit.
The three players all finished tied for second at 12-under-par 201.
Portie held off the competition, and could attribute that to his familiarity with the RMO. Portie won the RMO in 2004 and has played in the tournament the past seven years.
Portie said a key to success in the RMO is making birdies.
“At these courses you have to make a lot of birdies,” Portie said. “Right from the start of the 54 holes you are trying to make birdies.”
Portie’s game plan worked as he finished with 18 birdies over the three days. Overall, Portie played 96 percent of his holes a par or better.
“The first two days I drove it really well, and putted really well,” Portie said. “I don’t hit it as well as some of these guys, but I like to keep the ball in play.”
Portie said the RMO is his second win of the summer.
Playing in the final group with Portie was Grand Junction native Eric Winder. Despite not playing in a professional tournament since last year’s RMO, Winder put together a strong weekend to finish tied for fifth with an 11-under-par 202.
“My last tournament was the RMO last year, so considering that, I’m definitely happy,” Winder said. “But I’m still a little disappointed I couldn’t get a few to drop to put a little pressure on (Portie).”
In the amateur division, Keith Hummerickhouse blew away the competition by finishing with a 9-under-par 204. Hummerickhouse shot a 4-under-par 67 in his final round at Tiara Rado.
Drew Trujillo and Jeb Savage finished tied for second in the amateur division, with both players carding a three-day total of 213.
Taylor Montgomery finished fourth with a 1-over-par 214.
Gregg Jones won the senior professional division with a 5-under-par 208.