Steamboat Springs Memory served Dave Delich well.
The former Colorado College hockey player saw his downwind approach shot on the first playoff hole of the Colorado Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championships hit the green and catapult toward the back.
With the wind picking up and the course rapidly hardening at Haymaker Golf Course, Delich put that in the back of his head.
After sneaking in a 8-footer for par on the second hold, Delich found himself downwind again on No. 3.
With fellow competitor Tom Musselman left in the first cut, Delich reverted back to the first hole.
He was 125 yards out and hit his 107-yard club. The ball bounced and nestled up to within four feet of the hole.
“On one, I saw the ball release,” said Delich, who knocked in the putt for birdie to win the playoff with a three-day total of 218. “I knew this time I just wanted to land it a couple of yards onto the green.”
Delich, who was seventh after the second day, shot a 1-under par 71 on Friday to get into the playoff with Musselman and Harry Johnson.
Johnson’s drive on the first playoff hole found a sagebrush on the right, eliminating him from the playoff.
Delich and Musselman traded pars on the first two holes before Delich’s birdie on No. 3.
Delich came into the week as the prohibitive favorite. Last week at the Colorado Senior Open, Delich finished second and was the low amateur by 11 strokes.
But on the first day Wednesday, he shot a 75, leaving him four strokes off the lead.
“I was pretty tired on Wednesday,” Delich said.
But after shooting 72 on Thursday, Delich said he knew he was going to be back in the hunt.
“I had dug myself a hole,” he said. “But I knew with the way the wind would pick up I could get some shots back.”
After struggling a little on the front nine, Delich started to put it together on the back side.
It started with a birdie on 10.
“That was the turning point for me,” he said.
After a tough luck double bogey on 12, he birdied 13, 15 and 18 coming in to get into the playoff.
“This was a great test of golf,” he said. “It had wind, tough greens and was fair. It had everything you need.”
Local John Vanderbloemen put together an even-par 72 on Friday to finish in 12th place. Vanderbloemen had it at 4-under par through 14 holes before struggling on the way in.
“Four-under evaporated in a hurry,” Vanderbloemen said. “But, hey, that’s golf.”
Fellow local Butch Boucher struggled a bit Friday, shooting an 80.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com