Long-running golf tournament hoping new format brings golfers back to the course | SteamboatToday.com

Long-running golf tournament hoping new format brings golfers back to the course

Steamboat Pilot & Today

— For years, longtime local Vic Steiner was a fixture at the Haymaker Golf Course west of Steamboat Springs.

“He was a great guy,” said Andrew Donner, assistant professional and director of junior golf. “I was lucky enough to know him. He was a great statesman for the golf course, and everyone loved him.

Steiner, who used to roam the Haymaker’s fairways as a course marshal, lost his battle with cancer in 2000. For the past 17 years, the staff at the course has kept Steiner’s memory alive in the Yampa Valley with an annual match-play tournament named in his honor. Each year, golfers would take to the course, going head-to-head with another golfer. The winner would advance.

This year, the 17th annual Steiner Cup will feature a new, more-condensed format that includes a stroke-play qualifier. Donner hopes confining the tournament to a single weekend will grow the field and increase interest in the event, which was formerly drawn out over several weeks each summer.

“In the past, we have always used a match-play format, but things would seem to go on forever,” Donner said. “We would start the tournament in July, and we were lucky if we got done by October.”

This year, the event will take place July 23 and 24 at Haymaker. On July 23, golfers will play in an 18-hole, stroke-play individual qualifier. On July 24, the top two players in the net and gross divisions will play in a match-play finale. Players will compete in either the net or the gross in both men’s and women’s division.

Entry fee is $40 per player, plus green fees. Fee includes merchandise payouts, food and beverage. Donner said the deadline to enter is July 22, and that every effort would be made to accommodate later entrees. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. July 23.

The match-play finals will be limited to the top-two players in the gross and net divisions and will take place July 24. However, payouts will be based on the stroke-play qualifier and, depending on entrees, will include the top third of the field, according to Donner.

In the past, the tournament field was capped, normally drawing 32 players in the men’s field and a slightly fewer number of women. But, due to the busy nature of summers in Steamboat, Donner said, the tournament field has dropped through the past several years.

“There is just so much going on in Steamboat Springs this time of year, and people are busy with a lot of different things,” Donner said. “It was hard for the players to get together to play a match, and it pushed everything back. We are hoping this new, condensed format will bring people back to the event, so that we can keep it going.”

Donner said the event is important to the staff members who want to carry on Steiner’s memory. He thinks the new format will bring new life to the event.

For more information, or to enter, players can call the Haymaker Golf Shop at 970-870-1846.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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