Cowgirl Shootout Tournament starts with low-am |

Cowgirl Shootout Tournament starts with low-am

Mike Vidakovich
Christy Savage plays during the Cowgirl Shootout Tournament low-amateur event Friday in Rifle. The tournament continues through the weekend.

The low-amateur portion of the oldest and longest running women’s golfing event in the state of Colorado, the 50th annual Cowgirl Shootout Tournament, took place on Friday afternoon at the Rifle Creek Golf Course.

Featuring the highest payout of any women’s tourney in the state, the Cowgirl Shootout drew 74 ladies to the five-person best ball competition on Friday, with 120 golfers from around Colorado, and points beyond, expected to converge on the picturesque 18-hole Rifle Creek layout this weekend.

Along with Head Golf Professional Kyle Daniell, Rifle Creek Ladies Club members Laree Lovan and Pam Buerger put in the long hours of organization to make Rifle Creek a stop on the Western Slope that few golfers can pass up.

“Really, it takes a village to put this tournament on,” said Lovan, who serves as the popular tournament’s director. “We have so much support here, from the men’s group to our sponsors. Everyone is very supportive to help make this happen.”

Started in 1968, the Cowgirl Shootout set down its roots when Rifle Creek was just a 9-hole course. Buerger recalled that first-ever tournament, and also one of the earliest winners, who is still a member at the course in 2018.

“In 1969, Nondis (Milosevich) Lowther was the winner, and she still plays here at the course,” said Buerger. “She had just graduated from college and was a student teacher in Rifle.”

Though the weekend tournament is strictly for ladies, one man on each five-person team was allowed to compete in Friday’s low-am event, which drew a 16-team field. Teams were evenly divided based on the players’ USGA handicap, with the two best scores from the five players on each of the 18 holes being recorded for the team total.

Friday’s winning team was made up of Cody Capwell, Susan Horton, Diana Doyle, Marge Fleming and Vicki Wharton. The champions came to the clubhouse with a 126 stroke total.

With only the top 3 places being paid in the low-am, the tie for second place between two teams at 127 strokes constituted the end of the cash line. The two teams were Eric Copen, Lyn Bullen, Jacey Hauer, Helen Kimber and Lynda Murray; and Jeb Savage, Linda McDonald, Insook Bhushan, Tish Filiss and Trish Martinez.

One stroke shy of the money at 128, was the team of Michael Smith, Joyce Booker, Candy Hammerich, Molly Hagan and Sherri Fields.

Tournament play will continue today and Sunday at Rifle Creek with the eclectic format in use, where a player’s best score on each of the individual 18 holes, is determined over two days and 36 holes of play.

Daniell, who is also the Head Basketball Coach at Rifle High School, is excited to see how things shake out with the quality field this year’s Shootout has attracted.

“Should be a fun weekend,” Daniell said. “I consider myself lucky to be a part of this event and to have such an awesome ladies club that we have here at Rifle Creek put this together.”

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