It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, at Valley Country Club, where 128 Colorado PGA Professionals played round one of the Colorado PGA Professional Championship. This 54-hole, three-day Championship, presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA, is being hosted by Director of Golf, Barry Milstead, PGA, and his staff at Valley C.C., who did a great job preparing one week after a surprising winter storm that covered the course with snow for two days.
Milstead comments, “We are honored and thrilled to have an event of this stature here and host the Colorado PGA Members.” The 2017 Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship was held at Valley, and this year’s opening Stoke Play was here, but this is the first time in Milstead’s time at Valley that the Club has been able to hold the Section Championship. “We had maintenance struggles leading up to the event, but the course is playing well and all-and-all, it is great. It should be a test for the best players in the Section.”
Doug Rohrbaugh, PGA, Teaching Professional at The Snowmass Club, is leading the field with a 6-under-par 66. He played consistently, hitting 15 greens and only 27 putts, with no 5’s on the card. Rohrbaugh had a “miraculous” 8th hole which could have gone either way for him. He blocked it, hit a tree, and was in the middle of the 2nd fairway with 188 left. After hitting it to 15 feet, he saved par.
Rohrbaugh hasn’t played Valley since the Stroke play earlier this year, but he is no stranger to winning the Section Championship. He is a three-time champion, winning in 2013, 2014 and 2015. When asked about today’s performance, Rohrbaugh comments, “I like where I am at. I played well and I will keep pluggin.”
Geoff Keffer, PGA, Assistant Professional at Lakewood Country Club, carded a 5-under par 67 in round one and is currently in second place. He played the front nine even with two birdies and two bogeys but played the back nine noticeably different with five birdies.
One stroke behind Keffer, sitting third, is Life Member, Dale Smigelsky with a 68. Currently, 26 players are at even par or better. Competition is for a $62,000 purse with the winner receiving $10,000.
Players in the 2020 Colorado PGA Professional Championship are playing for nine qualifying and five alternate spots to compete at the 54th PGA Professional Championship on April 25-28, 2021, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The second round of the 2020 Colorado PGA Professional Championship tees off at 7:30am on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.