Holes-in-one highlight revamped tourney
SILVERTHORNE – Rob Millisor and Keith Kartz made sure the new incarnation of the Summit Foundation celebrity golf fundraiser started with a bang.
Millisor, of Breckenridge, and Kartz, a former Denver Broncos lineman, each hit a hole-in-one Friday during the first round of the newly named NFL/Bronco Alumni Rocky Mountain Golf Classic. The event was known as the Steve Watson/Ed McCaffrey Golf Classic for 15 years.
Millisor hit a lofty 7-wood on the par-3 12th hole for the ace. He couldn’t follow the ball off his club, but he saw it land on the green and disappear into the cup.
“I just nuked it, and it was just perfect,” said Millisor, who was paired with former NFL lineman Robb Nelson on the Grand Timber Lodge team. “I hit it and I said, “I lost it. I have no idea where it is.’ Then I saw it come down and drop in. I’d put that in the top ten moments in my life. It was utter elation.”
The left-hander won a new driver for the feat, then spent at least the cost of the club on the requisite open tab at the Raven Grill.
The experience was a bit different for Kartz, who is currently an assistant coach for the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League. Playing for the American Airlines team, Kartz hit an 8-iron on the par-3 fourth hole. The fourth is an uphill hole, so Kartz didn’t realize he shot an ace until the fivesome approached the green and found four balls. Kartz’s, of course, was in the hole.
“We couldn’t see the hole, and we thought, “Oh, it’s a good shot,'” Kartz said. “We got up there, and we said, “Where the heck’s the ball … Oh, it’s in the hole.’ It was nice. I’ve got some bragging rights now.”
Kartz participated in the tournament when it was the Watson/McCaffrey Classic and said this year’s experience was a bit different. With the NFL Alumni Association supplying most of the celebrities, the Broncos family feeling is a bit diluted.
“There doesn’t seem to be as many local guys as far as the celebrities go,” Kartz said. “We used to have a lot of Broncos. From what I’ve seen, a lot of the celebrities are from out of town … But we’ve got a good bunch of guys out here trying to have a good time.”
While most of the celebrities are former football players, Colorado native Goose Gossage is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who returned to the tournament this season. Gossage is a longtime Breckenridge homeowner and hovers around an 8 or 9 handicap on the links.
“Golf is very challenging, and that’s why a lot of athletes really like it,” Gossage said. “It gives you a challenge after whatever sport you excelled at.”
Gossage approached the tee box on the par-4 first hole with the same tobbacco-spitting swagger with which he once approached the mound, and he launched a huge, arcing drive that cut the corner of the dog-leg. But what looked like an ideal drive didn’t clear the rough on the left, and his team – Beaver Run Resort – was forced to use another ball in the scramble format.
“We used John (Beauchamp)’s ball, and we ended up birdie-ing the hole,” Gossage said.
The birdie helped the team – Gossage, Beauchamp, Todd Harris, Joe Shakleton and Alex Shakleton – shoot a gross 59 (net 57.20) to sit in third place after the first round.
Allman Drywall – Brian Hayes, Steve Allman, Brad Pinneke, Dennis Clauer and celebrity Ted McKnight – sits in first place after round one with a net 55.40. Colorado Premier Resorts – Jay Frazier, Buck Finley, George Connolly, Tim Brook and celebrity Dave Reavis is second with a 56.80.
Half the field played the Breckenridge Golf Club Friday, and the teams will switch celebrities and courses for the second round today.
Scores were higher at Breckenridge: the leading team – Dan Goodale Group – came in with a net 58.10.
Each team represents a sponsorship that benefits the Summit Foundation, which supports hundreds of non-profit organizations in Summit County. Colorado Youth-Oriented Charities is also a beneficiary.
Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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