Steamboat Springs The premier Colorado Junior Golf Association tournament is coming to Haymaker Golf Course on Monday and Tuesday.
The 2008 CJGA Haywhacker Championship will bring 240 junior golfers from around the state to compete in two days of play. The tournament will include golfers between the ages of 11 and 18 who will be divided into different age groups and flights.
Last year, Michael Tilgham of Littleton was the overall boys winner and Castle Rock's Allie Johnston was the overall girls winner.
Tilgham is not signed up to play this year, but Johnston is returning to defend her title.
"This year, we expanded it to 240 players," Haymaker head golf professional Hank Franks said. "We've always had great interest in it, and we've never had to put a cap on it. But we had to this year."
The Haywhacker, in its sixth year, originally started as a local event in 1999. Franks said he wanted to expand it so he reached out to the CJGA. The event moved to a statewide tournament in 2003 and has been growing ever since.
"This is the ceiling as far as players go," Franks said.
There will be an 11- to 13-year-old division as well as a 14- to 18-year-old division. Most of the players who will compete have been on the CJGA circuit for most of the year.
Locally, Scott Ptach, Jace Hvambsal, Michael Weston, Alan Capistron, Patrick Weston and Jack Lupori will play.
The event starts at 7 a.m. on both days. Instead of the shotgun format used last year, players will tee off the first and 10th holes.
Franks said he expects play to wrap up at about 3 p.m. each day.
"What you see in this event is most of the kids are seasoned," Franks said. "For most of them, this isn't their first event. Most have played multiple events."
In addition to the size of the event, Franks said Haymaker's course is in phenomenal shape to host a high-end junior golf tournament.
"Whether it was us staying off of it in May or the amount of moisture we got : it's in the best shape since I've been here," he said.