Pueblo’s Allen wins Enstrom’s Rocky Mountain Open on first try
It’s around this time of year that Jason Allen usually heads west to play in the Utah Open golf tournament.
As the father of a couple of small children, Allen decided he wanted to be closer to their Pueblo home this year.
“This just seemed easier,” he said of making the shorter road trip to the Enstrom’s Rocky Mountain Open. “I thought I’d try it. I’m glad I did.”
Allen shot a 7-under-par 64 at Tiara Rado Golf Course on Sunday to win the 71st annual tournament with a three-day total of 196.
He finished one shot ahead of Pat Grady, who also made a strong charge Sunday. Grady began the day at 8 under, 3 strokes behind Allen and in a tie for fifth place.
Grady played one group ahead of Allen, who was in the final foursome.
“I didn’t really look too much (at the scores) until (No.) 13,” Grady said.
His quick glance at Allen’s score proved incorrect.
“I thought I was ahead,” Grady said.
Allen played Sunday’s front nine in 4 under, which helped him take a four-stroke advantage over Dustin Mills, who began the day tied for second, one shot behind Allen, and Grady at the turn.
Allen promptly took out his 3 wood on the par-4 No. 10 hole and drove the green, setting up a 25-foot eagle putt that he made.
“Game, set and match,” one spectator following the final group proclaimed, although it wasn’t over quite yet.
Mills and Allen both reached the par-5 No. 14 hole in two. Allen’s long lag putt came up short and his missed his birdie try.
Mills, meanwhile, just missed his eagle attempt but birdied to pull to within three shots with four holes to play.
“I figured I had a shot,” Mills said. “I knew Jason was playing well.”
Allen made five consecutive pars after his eagle, then birdied No. 16. Mills bogeyed the hole to fall five shots back, then bogeyed the final hole to finish in a three-way tie for third at 202 with Richard Gaona and Mike Troyer, six shots off the pace.
“I was just trying to be patient all week,” Allen said. “I was just trying to put myself in position not to make bogey or double bogey.”
Grady, who shot 29 on the back nine, was far from disappointed. His final-round 62 was the best score of the tournament.
“I played pretty darn good,” the former University of Colorado men’s golfer said. “It was the best I’ve ever played in my life, probably.”
Former Grand Junction resident Scott Sullivan, who moved to Kansas City, Mo., in February, made a triumphant return. Sullivan captured both the amateur and senior amateur gross titles. Dennis Lucero won the amateur net crown.
The senior professional title went to Danny Edwards, whose 205 was good for a seven-stroke victory.
Eric Winder and Matt Hall combined to win the four-ball championship.