Robbins grabs title with final-round recovery

Brandon Bingaman hits this shot out of the sand on the No. 18 green. Bingaman carded a 2-over-par 73 in the final round to finish second for the second straight year.



Sean Robbins hits his tee shot at Bookcliff Country Club on Sunday in the final round of the Colorado West Amateur Golf Tournament. Robbins carded a final round score of 5-under-par 66.



Brandon Bingaman watched each of the other three competitors in the final group make a push, but none of them could maintain momentum. So, on a day in which his game was slightly off, it looked like he might have done enough to capture the 2012 Home Loan Colorado West Amateur golf tournament.

But it was a player whose charge he couldn’t see that saddled him with a second straight runner-up finish at the tourney. Sean Robbins, Bingaman’s teammate on the Colorado Mesa University men’s golf team, rose above a disappointing second round to blister the Bookcliff Country Club course during the third and final round Sunday.

Robbins’ 5-under-par score of 66, coupled with Bingaman’s 2-over 72, allowed him to slide into the top spot, a stroke ahead of Bingaman, at 210, and pocket $750 to go with the championship trophy. Final-group members Cameron Brown of Edwards and Sean Thomas of Arvada tied for third at 212. Drew Trujillo was fifth at 213, and Scott Sullivan, the fourth member of the final group, was sixth at 214.

Robbins, of Aurora, just finished his freshman season at Colorado Mesa, where he was the No. 2 player on the squad behind Bingaman. That rookie campaign, he said, instilled in him the belief he can win tournaments. And it kept him focused Sunday, despite the difficult path that awaited after a second-round 76 removed him from the first-round tie he had enjoyed with Bingaman in the championship flight.

“Yesterday, I wasn’t trusting anything,” Robbins said of his Saturday showing. “I wasn’t controlling my shots. I controlled my shots today. I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did.

“I made sure I visualized the shot. I made sure I focused on the smallest target possible.”

He said the concentration resulted in making some long putts and doing a great job on the par-fives, and it kept him from thinking too far ahead.

Robbins cited several holes and shots as keys to his Sunday success. He sank a 35-foot putt on No. 9. He birdied Nos. 12, 13 and 14. On the par-3, 167-yard 13th hole, he dropped his tee shot to about eight inches of the cup and tapped in for birdie.

And “the shot that won me the tournament,” Robbins said, was his second shot on No. 18. Sitting 238 yards out, he stuck his approach eight feet from the pin and two-putted for birdie.

Being oblivious to what was happening in the group behind him, the final group, may have been to his advantage. Rather than feeling any pressure from the leaders, Robbins worried only about his own game and didn’t let the deficit perplex him.

“I was completely confident right after my round (Saturday),” Robbins said. “I reflected on my day. ... I just wanted to play my best today. I knew yesterday was just a goofy day for me. I wanted to attack every flag (Sunday).”

Robbins’ final-day charge was reminiscent of Bingaman’s a year earlier. Bingaman trailed by seven strokes entering the final round last year and rallied to tie for the lead before bowing to Durango’s Devin Schreiner in a three-hole playoff.

But there were no extra holes this year and no redemption, just frustration for the lanky Fruita Monument High School alum who flashed his skills many times Sunday, but never put everything together for an extended stretch.

“I’m frustrated with myself,” Bingaman said. “That’s the best way to describe it.

“I hit the ball well and didn’t take advantage. When I didn’t hit it well, I didn’t recover. I didn’t make the putts when I needed.”

Bingaman couldn’t catch a break with his putter. He lipped out four putts, skirted the cup on a couple others and missed some short ones, such as a five-footer that would have netted a birdie on No. 17.

The end result of Bingaman’s second time playing in the Colorado West Amateur garnered him “the most frustrating spot to be in both years: runner-up,” he said.

Brandon Bingaman watched each of the other three competitors in the final group make a push, but none of them could maintain momentum. So, on a day in which his game was slightly off, it looked like he might have done enough to capture the 2012 Home Loan Colorado West Amateur golf tournament.

But it was a player whose charge he couldn’t see that saddled him with a second straight runner-up finish at the tourney. Sean Robbins, Bingaman’s teammate on the Colorado Mesa University men’s golf team, rose above a disappointing second round to blister the Bookcliff Country Club course during the third and final round Sunday.

Robbins’ 5-under-par score of 66, coupled with Bingaman’s 2-over 73, allowed him to slide into the top spot, a stroke ahead of Bingaman, at 210, and pocket $750 to go with the championship trophy. Final-group members Cameron Brown of Edwards and Sean Thomas of Arvada tied for third at 212. Drew Trujillo was fifth at 213, and Scott Sullivan, the fourth member of the final group, was sixth at 214.

Robbins, of Aurora, just finished his freshman season at Colorado Mesa, where he was the No. 2 player on the squad behind Bingaman. That rookie campaign, he said, instilled in him the belief he can win tournaments. And it kept him focused Sunday, despite the difficult path that awaited after a second-round 76 removed him from the first-round tie he had enjoyed with Bingaman in the championship flight.

“Yesterday, I wasn’t trusting anything,” Robbins said of his Saturday showing. “I wasn’t controlling my shots. I controlled my shots today. I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did.

“I made sure I visualized the shot. I made sure I focused on the smallest target possible.”

He said the concentration resulted in making some long putts and doing a great job on the par-fives, and it kept him from thinking too far ahead.

Robbins cited several holes and shots as keys to his Sunday success. He sank a 35-foot putt on No. 9. He birdied Nos. 12, 13 and 14. On the par-3, 167-yard 13th hole, he dropped his tee shot to about eight inches of the cup and tapped in for birdie.

And “the shot that won me the tournament,” Robbins said, was his second shot on No. 18. Sitting 238 yards out, he stuck his approach eight feet from the pin and two-putted for birdie.

Being oblivious to what was happening in the group behind him, the final group, may have been to his advantage. Rather than feeling any pressure from the leaders, Robbins worried only about his own game and didn’t let the deficit perplex him.

“I was completely confident right after my round (Saturday),” Robbins said. “I reflected on my day. ... I just wanted to play my best today. I knew yesterday was just a goofy day for me. I wanted to attack every flag (Sunday).”

Robbins’ final-day charge was reminiscent of Bingaman’s a year earlier. Bingaman trailed by seven strokes entering the final round last year and rallied to tie for the lead before bowing to Durango’s Devin Schreiner in a three-hole playoff.

But there were no extra holes this year and no redemption, just frustration for the lanky Fruita Monument High School alum who flashed his skills many times Sunday, but never put everything together for an extended stretch.

“I’m frustrated with myself,” Bingaman said. “That’s the best way to describe it.

“I hit the ball well and didn’t take advantage. When I didn’t hit it well, I didn’t recover. I didn’t make the putts when I needed.”

Bingaman couldn’t catch a break with his putter. He lipped out four putts, skirted the cup on a couple others and missed some short ones, such as a five-footer that would have netted a birdie on No. 17.

The end result of Bingaman’s second time playing in the Colorado West Amateur garnered him “the most frustrating spot to be in both years: runner-up,” he said.


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