Steamboat Springs golfer Butch Boucher tees off at Haymaker Golf Course on Wednesday during the Colorado Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championships.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs golfer Butch Boucher tees off at Haymaker Golf Course on Wednesday during the Colorado Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championships.

Steamboat Springs hosts Senior Open golf tournament

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Steamboat Springs golfer John Vanderbloemen chips onto the green at Haymaker Golf Course on Wednesday during the Colorado Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championships.

— For Butch Boucher, golf is a fantastically frustrating, sometimes wonderful and often unpredictable event.

The Steamboat resident came into the three-day Colorado Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championships at Haymaker Golf Course leaning toward the unpredictable.

This summer, his game has been a quagmire. One day, he would strike the ball well, but his putter would betray him. The next day, he’d putt well but struggle with his ball striking.

On Wednesday, he sort of found a happy medium, and Boucher led all Steamboat golfers, carding a 2-over par 74. He’s three shots off the lead.

“I still three-putted a couple of times,” he said. “I felt like I had opportunities, but I just couldn’t capitalize. I thought I could shoot par or maybe 2-under. That was doable. But that’s the nature of the game.”

The unpredictable nature of the game.

The tournament, which brought to Haymaker 84 of the top 50 and older senior players, featured a stacked field and an even more interesting course. Players had four chances to qualify for the event, with several players already having earned exemptions.

Haymaker had been hardened up, a nod to its links-style format. The course, players said, played fair and catered to players that hit good shots.

After a brief delay because of frost, the morning tee times slowly trickled in putting up the low numbers. By about noon Wednesday, the wind had picked up, making the course much tougher.

First-round leader Tom McGeary, playing out of Highlands Ranch Golf Club, was one of a few players to post a low number from the afternoon group. McGeary, who sits at 1-under-par, said there was a clear change in the golf course by the time he got to the eighth hole.

The wind “was a big difference,” he said. “No doubt the front nine was a lot easier.”

McGeary was clean on the front, carding birdies at three and eight before making the turn. Despite previously playing in the event, McGeary never has made the cut.

The tournament cuts the field to the top 40 including ties after Thursday’s round.

“This was a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I was able to get it around on the front nine and then was just hoping to get it home on the back nine.”

Two other Steamboat residents played Wednesday. John Vanderbloemen shot a 77, and Steve Dodson carded an 81.

The projected cut after the first day sits at 78. Play continues at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Results from Wednesday, Sept. 5

Thomas McGeary, Highlands Ranch GC, 34-37--71

Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC, 35-37--72

Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC, 35-37--72

Mike Larson, Boulder CC, 33-39--72

Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC, 35-38--73

Grant Porter, CommonGround GC, 35-38--73

Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC, 35-38--73

Butch Boucher, Haymaker GC, 37-37--74

Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC, 36-38--74

Tom Musselman, Cornerstone Club, 38-36--74

Art Pitman, Denver Amateur Golf Tour, 39-35--74

David Delich, Broadmoor GC, 40-35--75

Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC, 41-34--75

Gary Fox, The CC at Castle Pines, 38-37--75

Bill Bolgar, Ridge at Castle Pines North, 37-38--75

Rick George, Castle Pines GC, 37-39--76

Bruce Hogg, Patty Jewett GC, 38-38--76

Tad Willenbrock, Glenmoor CC, 38-38--76

Ted Warner, Greeley CC, 35-41--76

Pete Perry, South Suburban GC, 36-40--76

John Sostmann, Columbine CC, 39-37--76

Joe Distefano, Telluride GC, 35-41--76

John Perry, Highland Meadows GC, 40-36--76

Mark Runyan, Blackstone CC, 35-41--76

Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC, 37-39--76

Robin Bradbury, Heritage at Westmoor, 35-42--77

Robert Burke, Twin Peaks GC, 36-41--77

Robert Polk, Colorado GC, 37-40--77

John Vanderbloemen, Haymaker GC, 36-41--77

Pat Bucci, West Woods GC, 38-39--77

Todd Novak, Vail GC, 39-38--77

Pat Bowe, CommonGround GC, 36-42--78

Sean Forey, Rolling Hills CC, 37-41--78

Scott Sullivan, Bookcliff CC, 38-40--78

Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC, 40-38--78

Dave Comeau, Kennedy GC, 37-41--78

Tony Goodman, Silver Spruce GC, 38-40--78

Jim LeMar, Meadows GC, 41-37--78

Mick Maillot, The Club at Rolling Hills, 40-38--78

Jeff Sweet, Saddle Rock GC, 41-37--78

Frank Wilkinson, Lincoln Park GC, 38-40--78

Patrick Horvath, Murphy Creek GC, 38-41--79

Lonnie Miller, Lincoln Park GC, 39-40--79

Rod Walters, Indian Tree GC, 40-39--79

Mark Barkley, Canongate at Blackstone, 42-37--79

Robert Bulthaup, Valley CC, 42-37--79

Mike Lohse, West Woods GC, 39-40--79

David Merritt, Meridian GC, 42-37--79

Art Cudworth, Raccoon Creek GC, 39-41--80

John Ingram, Hiwan GC, 39-41--80

Charlie Ogren, Collindale GC, 37-43--80

James Pullin, The Olde Course at Loveland, 39-41--80

Greg Symons, Valley CC, 40-40--80

Steve Kass, CommonGround GC, 39-41--80

Rick Tarasiewicz, Eisenhower GC, 41-39--80

Jerry Kidney, Overland Park GC, 41-40--81

Steve Dodson, Haymaker GC, 41-40--81

Jeff Wyatt, Meadow Hills GC, 42-39--81

Steve Summers, Broadmoor GC, 39-42--81

Joe Morrill, Eagle Ranch GC, 39-42--81

Gary Custer, Patty Jewett GC, 40-41--81

Bob Perry, Eisenhower GC, 37-44--81

Jeffrey English, AvidGolfer Passport Club, 41-41--82

Scott Schoelzel, Cherry Hills CC, 43-39--82

Todd Binns, Commonground Golf Course, 40-42--82

Dennis Fields, Commonground Golf Course, 39-43--82

Dave Bell, Hiwan GC, 42-41--83

Bo Powell, West Woods GC, 43-40--83

Marc Sims, Eisenhower GC, 40-43--83

Scott Crone, Pinehurst CC, 41-43--84

Steven Coyer, Eagle Springs GC, 40-44--84

Jerry Kaylor, Broadlands GC, 42-42--84

Danny Wyrick, AvidGolfer Passport Club, 39-45--84

Chuck Delich, Eisenhower GC, 44-41--85

Richard Griggs, Desert Hawk GC, 41-44--85

Vince Laurita, Legacy Ridge GC, 41-44--85

Jeff Salter, Ranch CC, 40-45--85

Doug Jones, Tiara Rado GC, 43-42--85

John Leamon, Littleton Golf and Tennis Club, 42-46--88

Ken Bailey, Telluride GC, 46-43--89

Gregg Mueller, Adobe Creek National Golf Club, 44-52--96

Robert Laro, Tiara Rado GC, 47-55--102

Ray Makloski, Pueblo CC, NS-NS--NS

Dennis Truitt, Kennedy Golf Course, WD-WD--WD

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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