Denver’s Carlile leads Glenwood Open after first day |

Denver’s Carlile leads Glenwood Open after first day

Mike Vidakovich
Post Independent Contributor

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — It was a beautiful day for golf on Saturday at the Glenwood Golf Course until a severe late afternoon rain and thunderstorm forced a stoppage in play for close to an hour, sending many of the 93 participants in the annual Glenwood Open Tournament scurrying for cover.

When the rains of July finally subsided around 4 p.m., course superintendent Jim Richmond, his assistant Jim Farris, and head golf professional Greg Gortsema removed fallen branches from several areas on the course in timely fashion and readied the 9-hole layout on the hill for play to resume.

The first day leader in the clubhouse for the championship flight is Denver resident Lamar Carlile, who carded a four under par total of 66. Carlile, whose wife serves as his caddy and is a regular on the Colorado golf tournament circuit, has made the Glenwood Open one of his tour stops for the past 20 years. Carlile finished as runner-up in last year’s Open after losing in a four-hole playoff to Michael Smith.

Nipping closely at Carlile’s heels is Gypsum resident Keith Humerickhouse, who is one shot back of the lead at 67. Boise State University golfer Tristan Rohrbaugh is still in the thick of the title chase also after shooting an even par 70.

Sunday’s final day will provide drama in more than just the championship flight, as several golfers will be vying for bragging rights in their respective divisions, which are based on the player’s individual United States Golfing Association handicap.

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One of the more intriguing groups to watch on the closing day could be in the first flight, where 72-year-old Mark Barlau, who recorded a Saturday score of 73, will try to shoot his age, or better, and hold off a host of credible challengers including Dave Sorel and Jacob Smith, who are both just three shots off the pace at 76.

Many of the golfers in the Glenwood Open are locals who have made the tourney a rite of summer year after year. Glenwood resident Mark Smith, who fired a 77 and finds himself tied for second place in flight number 2, has been at the Open every year since 1991. Smith enjoys the game of golf, but he also enjoys seeing so many familiar and friendly faces at his home course.

“I took up golf in the mid 1980s when I was living in Dallas. I would hit balls out in a field until I got good enough to where I felt comfortable enough to go to the driving range,” said Smith, smiling at the memory of his golf beginnings. “I really enjoy coming up here each year.”

Following the completion of Saturday’s play, tournament director Greg Gortsema said the number of golfers in the field was up a bit from last year’s draw.

“We had 96 players register this year, which is up 14 in numbers from last year,” stated Gortsema. “We also had a full field in our Friday Pro-Am Tournament.”

There is no admission fee for viewers at Sunday’s final round. The championship flight golfers will start their tee-times at 1:30 p.m., with the final group leaving the clubhouse at 2:10 p.m.

Should be an interesting final day. It’s the best ticket in town, and it’s free.

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