Mike Zaremba was named the 1983 Dow Finsterwald Colorado PGA Player of the Year. He won the Colorado PGA Professional Championship thirty-one years ago in 1987. He notched his first victory in the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship in 2005. Zaremba added to that lengthy resume when the 64-year-old notched yet another Major Championship victory when he claimed the title at the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship on Tuesday at Black Bear Golf Club.
Zaremba followed up an opening three-under-par 69 with solid final round, posting a two-under-par 70 to finish at five-under-par 139.
“I played tee to green, really solid,” noted Zaremba after the round. “I never gave myself chances to make bogeys.”
When asked how he keeps playing at such a high level, Zaremba laughed and smiled before quipping, “You just have to keep grinding because it seems as we get older, we get a little straighter. We might get a little shorter but we keep it out of trouble and just rely on our experience.”
Zaremba distanced himself from the field this week on the par-5s. He played them six-under-par for the two-day event including an eagle at the downhill par-5 fifteenth hole during the first round.
“I had it in good shape because I played the par-5s really well and that was the difference,” Zaremba said after the round.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though for the Desert Hawk at Pueblo West General Manager. Zaremba held just a one-shot lead with three holes to go as Chris Johnson, PGA Life Member, mounted a charge on the back nine Tuesday. After making a birdie at the fifteenth, Johnson three-putted the sixteenth to give Zaremba a two-shot lead, a lead he would not relinquish.
A trio of players finished tied for second. Johnson was joined by Don Hurter, PGA Director of Instruction at Castle Pines Golf Club, and Barry Milstead, PGA Head Professional at Valley Country Club, at three-under-par 141.
Finishing in a tie for fifth place was Jeff Hanson, PGA Director of Golf at Red Sky Golf Club, and Doug Rohrbaugh, PGA Sales Representative with AndersonOrd Apparel. Hanson posted an impressive final nine on Tuesday by playing the five-hole stretch between 12 and 16 at an incredible six-under-par.
Rounding out the leaderboard was Mike McCutchen, PGA Assistant Professional at Family Sports Center, and Bill Loeffler, PGA Owner at The Links Golf Course in Highlands Ranch.
The top 6 finishers, plus the champion from this event, qualified for the 2018 Senior PGA Professional Championship, October 25-28, 2018, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The champion will also represent the Colorado PGA at the 2018 adidas Invitational in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, through a partnership between the event and the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation.
Loeffler was already exempt into the Championship based on his previously winning the Senior PGA Professional Championship.
Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship
Qualifiers: 8 Alternates: 5
139 -- Michael Zaremba, Desert Hawk 69-70.
141 -- Don Hurter, Castle Pines 72-69; Chris Johnson, Life Member 70-71; Barry Milstead, Valley 71-70.
142 -- Jeff Hanson, Red Sky GC 75-67; Doug Rohrbaugh, Ironbridge 71-71.
143 -- Bill Loeffler, The Links Golf Course 71-72; Mike McCutchen, Family Sports Center 71-72.
ALTERNATES - IN ORDER
144 -- Doug Montgomery, Green Valley Ranch 73-71.
145 -- Sherry Andonian, Valley 73-72; David Arbuckle, Springs Ranch GC 70-75; Rick Cole, Eaton 71-74; Doug Wherry, Jake's Academy 74-71.