Golfers pleased with return of Triple Play

Vicki Riley tries to coax her ball into the cup on the 18th hole at Bookcliff Country Club with a little body English Friday during the first round of the Western Slope Triple Play tournament, a unique three-day, three-course women’s tournament.

With the sweltering summertime sun pummeling the Bookcliff Country Club, 69 women welcomed the return of a unique golf tournament to Grand Junction on Friday.

The Western Slope Triple Play is a three-day tournament played on three different courses.

“It gives you variety,” said Shannon Tittle, who is part of a five-person committee that helped bring the tournament back this year. “It makes it a great challenge, playing three different courses.”

The 54-hole tournament was originally the BLT Elam Classic, then the Western Slope Classic.

The BLT was named for the three courses — Bookcliff, Lincoln Park and Tiara Rado Golf Club. The tournament is now held at Bookcliff, Tiara Rado and Redlands Mesa.

Vicki Riley, Kelly Hall, Trish Sommers, Deb Ghiloni and Tittle make up the committee that got the unique tournament back on the tees.

“We would go to different tournaments and people would ask us ‘When are you going to start up that tournament again?’ ” Riley said. “We’re extremely happy with the numbers for the first year back.”

The Western Slope Triple Play is the only three-day women’s tournament in the state and Riley said a large number of competitors are from outside of Grand Junction.

No one could put an exact year on how long the tournament has been on the shelf — at least six years — but the competitors were certainly happy it made a return.

“I’m excited it’s back. It’s fun to play three different courses,” Allison Webb said. “The three courses are very different.”

As far as the competition was concerned, Danielle Atkinson in the first flight was just about as hot as the weather, shooting a 75. Rose Bunning carded a 79, and Loren Forney and Maria Tafuri both shot 80 to lead the other top first flight scores.

Lyn Bullen, who helped organize the event years ago, is thrilled to see the tournament return.

“It’s a very unique challenge. Three days of competitive golf is a grind,” she said.

Bullen said her round of 95 was interesting.

“My game didn’t warm up until No. 8,” she said about her round that started on No. 1. “It was like I played two different courses today, I shot 53 and 42.”

Tittle shot a 94 and “lost two balls” but she’s looking forward to Sunday when she gets to play her home course at Redlands Mesa.

“I’m looking forward to playing there on the last day,” she said.

With a noon shotgun start and temperatures climbing to the mid-90s, Day One was tough.

“We were seeking shade,” Tittle said.

Using words like “brutal,” “torture,” “hot” and others, it was a thesaurus day to describe the punishing heat.

Competitors will get a break from the afternoon heat with 
9 a.m. shotgun starts today at Tiara Rado and Sunday’s final round at Redlands Mesa.

Proceeds from the Western Slope Triple Play benefit Hilltop’s Latimer House in Grand Junction.


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