Rudosky wins two Championships in one season; first time in Colorado since 2013!

The Colorado PGA Professional Championship, hosted at the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Golf Club – Blue Course, September 13-15, 2021, provided an excellent opportunity for our Colorado Members to showcase their skills. With wind gusts on day one, rain delays on day two, fast greens and an overall challenging course, claiming the title of Colorado PGA Professional Champion was no easy feat! Congratulations are in order to Micah Rudosky, PGA Head Professional of Conquistador Golf Course!

The first of three rounds teed off Monday morning, September 13th. Starting off strong, firing three birdies in a row on holes three, four, and five, led David Arbuckle, PGA Life Member, to a three-under-par on the front nine. Adding two birdies on the back nine, secured Arbuckle the lead, carding a two-under-par 70 for the day. By the end of day one, there were five members tied for second at one-under-par for the day: Dan Sniffin, PGA Omni Interlocken, Kyle Voska, PGA The Links Golf Course, Robert Grall, PGA Colorado National Golf Club, Michael Zaremba, PGA Desert Hawk, and Matt Schalk, PGA Colorado National Golf Club. Last year’s champion, Geoff Keffer, PGA Lakewood Country Club, sat for 17th following a round of 74.

Rain or shine, Colorado PGA Professionals showed up and pushed through the second round of the Colorado PGA Professional Championship that eventually was suspended due to darkness. After two rain delays, players resumed play with approximately two hours until sunset, which left seven groups to finish their rounds Wednesday morning before the final round was set to start.

A few other notable rounds came from the 2021 Colorado Senior PGA Professional Champion, Micah Rudosky, PGA Conquistador Golf Course, and 2021 Colorado Assistant PGA Professional Champion, Ben Lanting, PGA Bear Creek Golf Club. Rudosky went out in 37 and closed with four birdies, one bogey, and an eagle on the back nine; posted a three-under-par 69 and sat in second place. Lanting came out of the gates hot firing a six-under front nine consisting of an eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie stretch on holes five through nine. Lanting stumbled down the stretch with five bogies on the back nine en route to a 41 and a second-round score of one-under-par 71.

Following Tuesday afternoon’s rain delays, blue skies at the Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Club – Blue Course Wednesday morning set the tone for a fantastic final round of the Colorado PGA Professional Championship. Wednesday morning, the second round concluded, the cut was made and then the final round commenced!

When asked how the day was playing at the turn, Barry Milstead, PGA Valley Country Club, replied, “they’re playing well”, referring to the other members in his threesome. One of whom was Ben Lanting. Two bogies, a birdie, and two eagles led him a three-under-par 33 on the front nine, which positioned himself from tied for 12th to third place at one-over-par through the front nine. Both posting two-under front nines, Mike Northern, PGA Life Member, and Christopher Hyten, PGA Castle Pines Golf Club, were tied with Ben going into the final nine holes. As a strong contender all week, Rudosky, remained consistent
with an even-par front nine. Tuesday’s leader, Kyle Voska, shot a five-over- par 41 to sit four shots behind Rudosky.

After 54 holes, Rudosky claimed victory! Posting a three-under-par total of 209 (75-69-69). Lanting congratulated Rudosky saying, “I’m pleased with the day. Micah went out and earned it.” With only one bogey and four birdies for the day, Rudosky commented, “I felt good about the round, and I’m excited to be heading to Austin, Texas.” Rudosky admitted that he had not played this course in ten years, with the last time being back in 2011 when the Section Championship was last held at Eisenhower. “I knew coming in how difficult this course could play,” he commented, but “I made the putts I needed to.”

In a similar fashion to his front nine, Lanting carded one bogey and three birdies on the final nine. He ended with an impressive five-under-par 67 for the round and one-under after 54 holes; finished second behind Rudosky. After not his best round on Monday, Lanting knew he needed his mental game to be strong. “Just keep playing,” he commented, “Every shot is a new shot, each day is a new day. In final rounds, you know what you have to do. [Regardless of outcome] I’m blessed to play a game I love.” Lanting kept a great attitude, but his score could be due to the history behind his choice of outfit. He wore the same outfit at the Colorado Open and shot a 67 and also when he won the 2021 Colorado Assistant PGA Professional Championship, with a 64. His mentor and friend, Kirk Rider, PGA Bear Creek Golf Course, also wore the same shirt at the Colorado Senior PGA Championship, shot 67, and qualified for the Senior PGA Professional Championship!

Tied for third belongs to Caine Fitzgerald, PGA Meadow Hills Golf Course, and Christopher Hyten, PGA Castle Pines Golf Club, with rounds of 77-74-67–218 and 74-73-71–218, respectively.

Finishing solo fifth, but not eligible to advance to the National PGA Professional Championship, because of his PGA Life Member status, was 2006 Colorado PGA Professional Champion Mike Northern, PGA. Northern fired rounds of 76, 71, 72 leading him to a three-day total of 219, three-over-par.

This win marked the second time anyone had won two of the three Colorado Championships in a season. The last was Doug Rohrbaugh, PGA The Snowmass Club, in 2013 when he won the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship and the Colorado PGA Professional Championship. Rohrbaugh, reflecting on those Championships, commented it was a “crazy year,” also winning the Colorado Senior Open.

Thank you to our sponsors, Cadillac, Club Car and Rolex, and to the Air Force Academy, Eisenhower Golf Club and the staff for their help in hosting and making this Championship successful.

The top nine finishers qualify for the 55th PGA Professional Championship, scheduled for April 17-20,
2022, at the OMNI Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

To see the full results of the 2021 Colorado PGA Professional Championship, click here.

PGA Professional Championship Qualifiers
April 17-20, 2022 at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas

1. Micah Rudosky, PGA | Conquistador Golf Course | 75-69-69–213
2. Ben Lanting, PGA | Bear Creek Golf Club | 77-71-67–215
T3. Caine Fitzgerald, PGA |Meadow Hills Golf Course | 77-74-67–218
T3. Christopher Hyten, PGA | Castle Pines Golf Club | 74-73-71–218
5. Geoff Keffer, PGA | Lakewood Country Club | 74-77-69–220
T6. Sherry Andonian, PGA | Valley Country Club | 75-73-73–221
T6. Matt Schalk, PGA | Colorado National Golf Club | 71-77-73–221
T6. Tyler Parsloe, PGA | Jake’s Academy | 75-72-74–221
T6. Kyle Voska, PGA | The Links Golf Course | 71-72-78–221

Alternates, in order:
T10. Doug Rohrbaugh, PGA | The Snowmass Club | 79-69-74–222
T10. Robert Grall, PGA | Colorado National Golf Club | 71-76-75–222
T10. Michael Zaremba, PGA | Desert Hawk at Pueblo West | 71-76-75–222
T13. Doug Montgomery, PGA | Gott Golf | 73-74-76–223
T13. Peter Norwood, PGA | MetaGolf Learning Center | 72-75-76–223