Joiner wins second straight Glenwood Open
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A.J. Joiner would prefer a close finish, but he sure didn’t mind playing the final hole of the Glenwood Open Sunday with a second straight title pretty much in the bag.The 20-year-old Roaring Fork High School graduate, who played golf the past two years at South Mountain Junior College in Phoenix, pulled away from challenger Doug Jones by playing a solid back nine at Glenwood Springs Golf Club to snag a five-stroke win in the vaunted amateur tournament.Joiner, who now has two wins in as many Open appearances, carded a 2-under-par 68 over 18 holes on Sunday to go with an even-par 70 on Saturday for a 138. Last year, Joiner edged Blake Hull by a stroke in his Glenwood Open debut.
Given the choice, Joiner would rather sweat out a close finish.”You’ve got to like it when it’s close,” he said. “You always like to test yourself.”Joiner and Jones entered the day tied. The two were also tied after nine holes on Sunday.But the momentum shifted on the leading foursome’s second go-around on the nine-hole course when Joiner eagled the first hole by driving to the green and draining an eight-foot putt.His lead grew from there, and by the time they reached the ninth hole a second time, Joiner’s victory was well in hand.Jones, the superintendent at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Grand Junction, took the silver finish in stride. After all, the 60-year-old’s won the Open four times in 29 appearances.
That’s right: 29. More than any other golfer in the Open’s 30-plus year history.”Oh, I played OK,” he said. “I’m kind of old and gimpy. … Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to [who’s winning]. I’m really just trying to shoot par.”He nearly did hit his par benchmark, following a round of 70 on Saturday with a 73 on Sunday for a tourney total 143.Playing with Joiner and Jones on Sunday were Lamar Carlile from Denver and Grand Junction country western singer Jay Ketchem of the band Jay Ketchem and Texas Moon.Carlile matched Jones’ 73 on Sunday and finished two strokes back overall to take third (145). Placing fourth was Mark Barlau (146), while Kirk Blaszyk and Scott Sullivan finished in a tie for fifth (148).A costly ace
Jeff Franke smacked an expensive drive on Sunday, sending his tee shot on the par-3 eighth hole into the cup.Along with the rare feat comes a hefty responsibility – that of buying those bellied up at the clubhouse a round of drinks.Needless to say, a hole-in-one during a tournament isn’t easy on a pocketbook.”I’m going to call a banker in the morning,” joked Franke, whose 7-iron-powered ace sailed 160 yards. “It’s not when you want to hit one. You want to hit one when it’s raining and no one’s there.”It was Franke’s first-ever hole-in-one in more than a quarter century of golf. Getting that first one out of the way more than made up for the expense.”It’s expensive, but nice,” said Franke, who teed off in the second flight. “Everybody seems to be thirsty.”
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.