Olkowski claims win after two-hole playoff

Canon Olkowski from Grand Junction HS hits his tee shot on the #3 hole at the Bookcliff Country Club Monday afternoon during the GJ Tiger Invitational Golf Tournament.

It came down to a playoff. Then it came down to hitting the fairway.

Grand Junction’s Canon Olkowski and Montrose’s Micah Stangebye were the class of the Tiger Invitational all day long. They both finished at 4-under par 67, so it was off to a playoff.

It was a classic matchup at Bookcliff Country Club. And Olkowski came out on top.

Starting the playoff on No. 9, both golfers drilled great shots onto the green on the par 4.

Stangebye was left with about a 10-foot putt for birdie and Olkowski was nine feet away, on the same line.

They both sank their putts and it was off to No. 10.

Stangebye’s tee shot didn’t hit the fairway on the par-4 hole, and he had to chip out from behind a tree. Olkowski’s drive, however, was on the fairway and he only had to be careful at that point.

Stangebye two-putted for bogey and Olkowski two-putted for par to take medalist honors.

It’s the second win in two weeks for the Grand Junction junior, who also won the Bulldog Invitational in Craig last week.

Both golfers made six birdies and two bogeys before the playoff.

Stangebye was one shot down coming to his final hole, which was No. 3, a 420-yard par 4. He needed a birdie to tie and force a playoff, and that’s what he got.

He also birdied No. 1 to get to within one of Olkowski.

Olkowski, starting the day on No. 1, finished the front 9 at 1-under par, then got rolling on the back 9.

Starting on 11, he birdied four holes but had a bogey on No. 15.

He birdied three of the four par 5s on the course.

Brandon Adair finished third at 72 with Rifle’s Jacob Smith in fourth with a 73. Fruita Monument’s Blake Andersen was fifth, shooting a 75.

Blake Schneider had a 76 to place in a tie for ninth for Grand Junction. His up-and-down round included two birdies.

Montrose had three golfers in the top 11 to win the team title at 6-over 219.

Grand Junction finished in second place with a score of 225, and Fruita Monument was fourth at 235.


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