To paraphrase Bob Dylan, perhaps the answer was blowing in the wind for Chris Carlson and Michael Love on Tuesday.
Despite very challenging conditions for golf, Carlson and Love kept their mistakes to a minimum and held off some tough competition to win the CGA Four-Ball title at windblown Legacy Ridge Golf Course. It marked the first CGA championship for Love and the second for Carlson, who won the CGA Mid-Amateur in 2004.
And, as a nice bonus, the two fortysomethings had the pleasure of playing one of their two rounds with former Broncos quarterback John Elway, who teamed with Tom Hart to share second place, two strokes behind the winners. Elway was playing in his first CGA championship, but probably not his last.
The whole experience "feels great," said Love, a dentist who calls The Club at Pradera his home course. "It's nice to finally win a state event. I've been playing in them for 8, 9, 10 years, so it's great to be a winner in one of these finally. A state event -- that's forever."
In Carlson's case, the second time around likewise tasted sweet.
"Anytime you can win a CGA event, it's special," said Carlson, who plays out of Highlands Ranch Golf Club.
Carlson and Love (left and right in photo) withstood the windy conditions Tuesday to shoot a 1-under-par 70 and post a two-day total of 5-under 138 in the better-ball competition. That was good enough to fend off Elway and Hart, the 2009 Trans-Mississippi Four-Ball champions who tied for second place at 140. Also shooting back-to-back 70s at The Heritage at Westmoor and Legacy Ridge were Tim Fitzgerald of Highlands Ranch Golf Club and Jim Kurtenbach of South Suburban Golf Course.
Defending champions Steve Irwin of Lakewood Country Club and Alex Buecking of Columbine Country Club finished fourth at 141.
"It was really about survival, and not getting flustered," Carlson said of the second-round conditions. "We knew there were going to be some bogeys out there and that we were going to make some bogeys. I think it was more of a mental test than a physical test. It was a game of survival, that's all it was."
While performing well was nice, Carlson and Love said they were primarily motivated by not letting each other down in the team competition.
"It's a different mentality," said Carlson, who's part of a sales group that represents various sportswear companies. "You have to keep yourself alive for your partner. When you let yourself down, you can live with yourself. But you don't want to let somebody else down. That's a unique feeling in golf, which is mainly an individual sport. So that part of it added a little pressure."
Carlson and Love also drew some inspiration from playing in the same group as Elway Monday at The Heritage at Westmoor.
"We wanted to step up and meet the challenge," Love said.
Elway's competitive fire -- which helped him lead the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles -- is a big reason why the Pro Football Hall of Famer likes to play tournament golf.
"It's fun for me to get out and compete, even though it's frustrating for me because I'm not really the golfer that I was the football player. So it's a little tough. But the reason I like to play is I like to compete. And it also makes me a better player to be in this (tournament) situation. I always enjoy it."
Elway has played in three Colorado Opens in the past -- making the cut once -- and foresees competing in more tournaments in the state. There could be more HealthOne Colorado Opens, some Colorado Senior Opens (Elway turns 50 on June 28), and more CGA events.
"I know what the schedule is," said Elway, who carries a 1 handicap. "I'll be playing in more of them. " I actually wish I had played more. I really wasn't aware how many tournaments there were. I enjoy it."
In the CGA Net Four-Ball, Tony Goodman of Silver Spruce Golf Course and Ed O'Gallagher of Eisenhower Golf Club teamed up for a 142 total and a six-stroke victory in the open division, while Daniel Hebble of Fossil Trace Golf Club and Willis Walker of South Suburban prevailed in the senior division by two shots with a 134 total.
On May 13, Charlie Post of Colorado Golf Club and Mark Franz of Saddle Rock Golf Course were officially named champions of the Senior Division of the CGA Four-Ball after it was decided that the postponed final round of the event won't be rescheduled. High winds made The Heritage at Westmoor course unplayable for competition on May 4, the second and final day of the Four-Ball.
The CGA Tournament Committee and the host course decided not to reschedule the round, so the 18-hole leaders were declared the champions. Post and Franz shot a 67 on May 3 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course for a one-stroke victory over Pat Bowe and Dave Brown, and Scott Radcliffe and Sean Forey.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS --CLICK FOR LEADERBOARD
Chris Carlson, Highlands Ranch GC / Michael Love, The Club at Pradera--68-70--138
Tim Fitzgerald, Highlands Ranch GC / Jim Kurtenbach, South Suburban GC--70-70--140
Tom Hart, Cherry Creek CC / John Elway, Castle Pines GC--70-70--140
Alex Buecking, Columbine CC / Steve Irwin, Lakewood CC--69-72--141
Jon Lindstrom, Heritage at Westmoor / Dean Clapp, Meadow Hills GC--70-72--142
Michael Harrington, Garden of the Gods Club / Jim Doidge, Pueblo CC--69-73--142
Andy Dannewitz, Meadow Hills GC / Brian Richmeier, Meadow Hills GC--71-74--145
John Perry, Avid Golfer Club / David Hunn, Collindale GC--73-73--146
Wesley Martin, The Courses at Hyland Hills / Adam Muhleisen, City Park GC--74-72--146
Scott Patterson, The Courses at Hyland Hills / Shane Houska, Collindale GC--73-74--147
Matt Hall, Bookcliff CC / Carter Mathies, GC at Redlands Mesa--70-77--147
Stuart Holland, The Club at Pradera / John Ingram, Hiwan GC--74-77--151
Jake Firkins, Eagle Ranch GC / Jared Bickling, Gypsum Creek GC--77-75--152
John Luoma, Colorado GC / Martin Prazak, Colorado GC--75-77--152
Perry Rickel, Colorado GC / Steve Redmond, Raccoon Creek GC--80-72--152
Doug Moore, Lone Tree GC / Dale Chavez, Lone Tree GC--76-77--153
Louie Lee, The CC at Castle Pines / Larry Woods, The CC at Castle Pines--77-76--153
Neil Metz, Flatirons GC / Jake Jacobs, Flatirons GC--75-79--154
Bart Barnett, The Clubs at Cordillera / Bob Engleby, The Clubs at Cordillera--74-80--154
Charles Schley, Highlands Ranch GC / Charlie Cartwright, Highlands Ranch GC--82-80--162
Ian Young, Highlands Ranch GC / Mark Brown, Highlands Ranch GC--78-85--163
Marshall Clark, Wellshire GC / Steven Burnite, Wellshire GC--82-83--165
Rob Mintz, Green Gables CC / Zach Pashel, Green Gables CC--88-83--171
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS --CLICK FOR LEADERBOARD
Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC / Charlie Post, Colorado GC--33-34--67
Pat Bowe, Commonground GC / Dave Brown, Rmgcsa Golf League--34-34--68
Scott Radcliffe, Rolling Hills CC / Sean Forey, Bear Creek GC--31-37--68
Thomas Roos, Plum Creek Golf & C.C. / Dennis Fields, Fox Hollow --34-35--69
Steve Bell, Denver CC / Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC--35-35--70
Jerry Beren, Coal Creek Mens GC / Randal Gaddis, Lone Tree GC--35-35--70
Daniel Dymerski, Columbine CC / Jerry Kidney, Overland Park Mens Club--36-34--70
Charles Delich, Eisenhower GC / Rick George, Castle Pines GC--35-35--70
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC / Matt McCoy, CommonGround GC--35-35--70
Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC / Robert Polk, Colorado GC--33-37--70
Ritchie Strauss, Broken Tee Englewood / Jack Manzi, Bear Creek GC--34-36--70
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC / Robert Burke, Twin Peaks GC--36-35--71
Jim Collins, The CC at Castle Pines / Mike Giarratano, The CC at Castle Pines--35-36--71
Jim Reynolds, Bear Creek GC / Steve Barlow, Cherry Hills CC--35-36--71
Bruce Hogg, Colorado Springs CC / David Delich, Broadmoor GC--37-35--72
Steve Bailey, Legacy Ridge GC / David Dines, Highlands Ranch GC--36-36--72
Jim LeMar, The Meadows GC / Don Berthiaume, Highlands Ranch GC--36-36--72
Robert Sherrill, Columbine CC / Gary Keogh, Columbine CC--36-36--72
Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC / Ken Sady, Eagle Ranch GC--36-37--73
Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC / Rod Walters, Westwoods--35-38--73
Bill Boyd, Highland Hills GC / Bob Heiny, Highland Hills GC--34-40--74
Dennis Mckinley, Bear Creek GC / Bob Cloud, Bear Creek GC--36-38--74
Richard Stauter, Ptarmigan CC / Rick Kato, Highland Hills GC--38-37--75
Calvin Vanessen, Colorado GC / Vance Adler, The CC at Castle Pines--37-38--75
Frank Wilkinson, Lincoln Park GC / Doug Jones, Tiara Rado GC--40-35--75
Scott Peterson, Patty Jewett / Bill Stevens, Saddle Rock GC--36-39--75
Pete Cohlmia, Meridian GC / Gary Guilford, Bear Creek GC--37-39--76
Art Cudworth, Raccoon Creek Men's Club / Chris Thomas, CommonGround GC--39-37--76
Ken Madsen, Coal Creek Mens GC / Laird Middleton, Coal Creek Mens GC--40-36--76
John Sostmann, Columbine CC / Dave Brown, Highlands Ranch GC--36-40--76
Adrian Tapia, Coal Creek Mens GC / Mark Barkley, Highlands Ranch GC--36-41--77
John Evans, Saddle Rock GC / Mark Runyan, Blackstone CC--36-41--77
Gary Albrecht, CommonGround GC / Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC--39-38--77
Robert Blayney, Highlands Ranch GC / Thomas McGeary, Highlands Ranch GC--39-38--77
James Schmaling, Avid Golfer Passport / Danny Wyrick, Avid Golfer Passport--39-39--78
Rich Trout, Rolling Hills CC / Russ Hickman, Mountain Vista Greens--37-42--79
Rex Gilbert, Shadow Hills GC / Gene Alden, Shadow Hills GC--37-42--79
John Balnis, Lone Tree GC / Scott Foster, Highlands Ranch GC--38-41--79
Darrell Perry, Westwoods GC / Gregory Hand, Westwoods GC--40-39--79
Bob Bauers, Boulder CC / Gary Potter, Denver CC--36-45--81
NET OPEN DIVISION RESULTS --CLICK FOR LEADERBOARD
Tony Goodman, Silver Spruce GC / Ed O'Gallagher, Eisenhower GC--73-69--142 John Marzano, Columbine CC / Brad Buchanan, Columbine CC--71-77--148
Glen Gude, Riverdale GC / Michael D'epagnier, Riverdale GC--69-81--150
Kyle Snyder, Fox Hill CC / Reid Williams, Ute Creek GC--72-80--152
James Mulstay, Inverness GC / Jerry Holder, GC at Redlands Mesa--77-76--153
Joseph Palombo, Riverdale GC / William Mills, Riverdale GC--74-81--155
Mike Lyons, Valley CC / Mike Mullins, Valley CC--77-79—156
NET SENIOR DIVISION RESULTS --CLICK FOR LEADERBOARD
Daniel Hebble, Fossil Trace GC / Willis Walker, South Suburban GC--70-64--134
Patrick Wallace, Indian Tree GC / Jeff Wyatt, Meadow Hills GC--68-68--136
Dave Blagg, Elmwood GC / Richard Griggs, Desert Hawk GC--66-70--136
Dan Weitzel, GC at Bear Dance / Tom Coulson, South Suburban Family Sports--71-67--138
Tom Stein, South Suburban GC / Thomas Gross, South Suburban GC--65-75--140
George Haffke, Fort Morgan GC / Jeff Bieber, The Clubs at Cordillera--72-69--141
Ken Hansen, Saddle Rock GC / Doug Knight, Saddle Rock GC--72-70--142
Neil Fischer, Westwoods GC / Dennis Johnson, Breckenridge GC--70-73--143
Larry Hayes, Courses at Hyland Hills / Dave Lawson, Courses at Hyland Hills--68-76--144
Steve Egender, Indian Tree GC / Mark Bless, Kennedy GC--70-74--144
Tom Olds, Commonground GC / Phil Tootill, Lone Tree GC--72-73--145
Will Frothingham, River Valley Ranch / Charles Capobianco, River Valley Ranch--72-73--145
James Keough, Flatirons GC / Brian Knowles, Flatirons GC--71-75--146
Lowell Hegg, Ranch CC / William Peterson, Indian Tree GC--75-72--147
Jim Lubinski, Glenmoor CC / Dave Glassey, City Park GC--69-81--150
Bob Brown, Desert Hawk GC / Randy Smith, Desert Hawk GC--76-78--154
Mark Achziger, Greeley CC / Robert Baldwin, South Suburban GC--75-80--155
Alan Linton, Fox Hill CC / Mike Fellows, Fox Hill CC--71-85--156