Boucher takes golf tourney in Steamboat
Local golfer wins inaugural Harvest Stroke Play event
Steamboat Springs — Local golfer Butch Boucher held a two-stroke lead headed into the final day of the Harvest Stroke Play tournament at Haymaker Golf Course during the weekend, but with 18 holes left, he knew nothing was guaranteed.
“That’s the great thing about tournaments like this,” Boucher said Monday. “You are held accountable for all 36 holes. It can be a challenge at times, but that’s what makes this game so great.”
Boucher opened the tournament with a 2-under-par 70 on Saturday, despite struggling on three of the last four holes.
Boucher recorded bogies on 15, 16 and 17 in that round, but he managed a birdie on No. 18 to finish on a high note.
The Steamboat Springs golfer returned to the course Sunday, and with steady and consistent play, collected the title in the first Harvest Stroke Play tournament.
Boucher finished with an even-par round of 72, finishing the 36-hole tournament two under par.
Boucher said he loved the format of the inaugural Harvest Stroke Play.
The two-day, stroke-play tournament gave the local golfer a chance to test his skills against other local golfers in a format that is rare in Steamboat.
In stroke play, the golfer plays their ball every shot and turns in their own score at the end of each round. Boucher said most local tournaments tend to be team events. But the weekend’s event focused on individual achievement.
At the start of the second day, Boucher said, he thought that John Vanderbloemen, who was just two strokes back, would make a run for the title. But Boucher didn’t give any ground Sunday, and Vanderbloemen fell off the pace, finishing the day at 76.
“I didn’t make as many good putts on Sunday, but I also didn’t make any major mistakes,” Boucher said.
Vanderbloemen placed second in the gross division but was dropped from those standings after winning the net title, which included handicap, with a 36-hole total of 142. Scott Berry was second in the net division at 147.
Billy Taylor, a former high school standout, took second in the gross after finishing 13 strokes off of the pace set by Boucher.
Golfers couldn’t place in the gross and net divisions.
“This is the first year for this event,” said Tom Taylor, director of golf at Haymaker. “Luke (Brosterhous) and I wanted to put a stroke-play tournament in the lineup in the middle of the summer.”
Taylor said this year’s event drew a field of 11 golfers, but he expects that number to grow in the future with a little more promotion.
“It’s a little more difficult to get players to come out and play in a stroke-play event,” Taylor said. “The format of the tournament can be a little intimidating, but once people come and give it a try, they normally love it.”
Boucher said he loves events like the Harvest Stroke Play, which he said can fill a competitive need for a lot of local golfers. He said he’s often forced to travel out of town for a stroke-play event.
“I think this tournament will continue to grow in the future — especially when the word gets out that it’s happening,” Boucher said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
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