Knouse, Brown share lead after first round of CWA
The Bookcliff Country Club golf course wasn’t the most challenging aspect of Friday’s opening round of the Colorado West Amateur.
Instead, Mother Nature was.
Swirling winds played havoc with the lower flight’s all afternoon, making for abnormally high scores on the first day of the 54-hole tournament.
No sub-par rounds were posted, although three players shot even-par 71.
One of them was in the first flight as club member Tom Volkmann carded the best round in his flight by three shots.
All eyes were on the final two foursomes in the championship flight and, despite the winds, they didn’t disappoint.
Dave Brown and Jim Knous tied for the lead at 71, but 14 players were within four shots of them, putting themselves in excellent position to make a run in the next two days.
Knous, who has the lowest handicap in the tournament with a plus-2.4, is coming off his freshman season at Colorado School of Mines.
Within one shot were two other college golfers, Tyler Parsloe (University of Nebraska) and Connor Rakowski (Rocky Mountain College).
Knous and Rakowski were teammates at Basalt High School two years ago.
Parsloe, a product of ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch, finished fourth in last year’s CWA in his first try.
“The greens are a bit slower,” he said of the difference in the course this year. “Putting was a little hard. The greens were hard to read.”
Still, being within striking distance of the lead was all he asked for after the first day.
“I’m happy with where I am,” he said.
Playing in a foursome with Rakowski, Knous and Hastings College golfer Will Logsdon, “It kind of felt like a college tournament,” Parsloe said.
Gary Carpendale and Chace Nathe both shot 73, one stroke ahead of Scott Sullivan and University of Northern Colorado golfer Adam Joiner.
Tied at 75 were eight golfers, including Steve Irwin, who won the tournament two years ago but didn’t play last year because of schedule conflicts.
“With the wind today, everybody was so focused on keeping it in play,” Irwin said.
Still, he was surprised there were no rounds under par.
“It (the lead) was out there to be had,” he said.
His foursome included Joiner and two other golfers tied at 75, Carter Mathies and Ryan Alexander.
Irwin said he’s been playing golf of late, but not competitively.
“I’ve just got to shake the rust off (and) hopefully play better on the weekend,” he said.
Irwin knows he faces a strong challenge to get back in the hunt, especially going up against college players.
“They’ve been competing (this spring),” he noted.
Mark Barlau shot a 73 to take a two-shot lead over Steve Blair in the second flight. Brian O’Dell’s 77 was good for a one-shot edge over six players in the third flight.
Dutch Denbleyker took the first-day lead in the fourth flight with a 78, good for a one-shot edge over Ron Reed.
Vince Alberta got a solid start in his attempt to defend his fifth-flight title. The Las Vegas resident shot a 79 for a four-stroke lead over John Cain.
Today’s second round again begins at 7:30 a.m. with the upper flights. The lower flights begin their tee times at noon.