Before Sunday, David Oraee had shot 64 in tournament conditions a grand total of once in his lifetime.
Oraee remembers it well five years after the fact. And why not? It isn't often that a guy -- especially a 15-year-old -- wins a tournament by 18 strokes, setting an AJGA victory-margin record in the process.
And no doubt Oraee's second 64 in competition likewise will make an indelible impression. This time around, the University of Colorado golfer carded a bogey-free 6-under-par 64 in Sunday's final round of the 78th CGA Stroke Play to win by four at Lakewood Country Club.
"I've shot 60 in casual play, but to do it in a tournament is something else," said the 21-year-old (above and below) from Colorado National Golf Club. "Out here I did it bogey-free, and my goal today was to stay bogey-free no matter how many birdies I made. If I did, I thought I had a good shot at it. I did that, and the rest took care of itself."
Oraee's 64 Sunday marked the lowest final round by a CGA Stroke Play champion back through at least the year 2000, before which records are incomplete.
"I figured if I shot 63, I was pretty sure I'd get a win," said Jimmy Makloski, who started the day two behind Oraee. "Apparently that wasn't even enough. So it's not that disappointing."
With Sunday's victory, Oraee becomes just the third player since 1990 to complete a career sweep of the CGA Match Play and Stroke Play tournaments.
Oraee won the CGA Match Play last year. He's the 20th player to claim both the CGA Match Play and Stroke Play titles, but only Pat Grady and Steve Ziegler have done so since 1990. Longtime PGA Tour players Hale Irwin, Steve Jones and Brandt Jobe are among those who accomplished the feat in earlier decades.
"It means a lot" Oraee said. "These are the two top tournaments in Colorado, so to win both in a year's span is good. I would have loved to win the Match Play this year and have them both in one year. But I had to play pretty solid this whole week. Knowing that you played that solid to win the tournament means a lot."
A senior-to-be at CU, Oraee finished with a 12-under-par 268 total at Lakewood CC. Makloski, a Colorado State University golfer from Pueblo Country Club, shared second place at 272 with Nick Nosewicz of Meadow Hills Golf Course. Makloski -- whose dad Ray, the 2012 CGA Senior Match Play champion, caddied for him (left) -- closed with a 66 despite bogeying his final two holes Sunday. As for 54-hole leader Nosewicz, he carded a 69 Sunday to go sub-par in each round.
"My goal was to shoot in the 60s all four days and I did that," said the 30-year-old Nosewicz, who works for his dad, who owns Lenny's Golf in southeast Aurora. "Other than that, it would have been nice to get my name on the trophy. But there's a few more years left."
Steve Irwin, who was attempting to win the title at his home course of Lakewood CC, battled an uncooperative putter on Sunday en route to a 68. Irwin (left) missed four putts inside of 5 feet on Sunday, including two on No. 3, where he three-putted from 3 1/2 feet. But he still shot 2 under for the day, which left him in a tie for fourth place at 273 with former CSU golfer Parker Edens, who posted a final-round 65.
The low round of the tournament (63) was carded on Sunday by former Colorado Christian University golfer Minkyu Jeon, of Raccoon Creek Golf Course, who placed seventh at 276. In all, 10 players finished under par for the tournament.
Makloski held the outright lead briefly on Sunday after getting up and down from a greenside bunker, sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 12. But Oraee took control for good when he reeled off three straight birdies starting on No. 12. He 2-putted for the birdie on 12, pitched to 1 foot for his birdie on 13, and drained a 7-foot putt for complete the trifecta on No. 14. And he added another on No. 16, where he holed a 15-foot putt from the fringe after Nosewicz had chipped in for birdie.
"That was a big putt obviously but I didn't feel threatened at all going into it," Oraee said. "I knew if I just played well (on Sunday), I didn't have to worry about what other people did. I was 6 under through 16, so I really wasn't too worried about it. If (someone) was going to beat me, that's fine. I played as well as I could have."
All told, Oraee was only in significant danger of making a bogey once in Sunday's final round, and that came on the 260-yard, par-3 first hole. There, he needed to sink a 15-foot putt for his 3.
Certainly Oraee's playing partners were duly impressed by his performance on Sunday.
"The dude is solid. He's good," said Nosewicz (left). "I knew he was good. I got beat by him last year in the Match Play (3 and 2 in the round of 32), so I kind of knew what he was going to bring to the table."
CGA Stroke Play Championship
At Par-70 Lakewood CC
David Oraee, Colorado National GC, 68-68-68-64--268
Jimmy Makloski, Pueblo CC, 72-65-69-66--272
Nick Nosewicz, Meadow Hills GC, 67-69-67-69--272
Steven Irwin, Lakewood CC, 68-71-66-68--273
Parker Edens, Greeley CC, 69-69-70-65--273
Braden Baer, The Ranch CC, 68-69-69-69--275
Minkyu Jeon, Raccoon Creek GC, 65-76-72-63--276
Jon Lindstrom, Lakewood CC, 73-70-67-68--278
Cameron Harrell, Collindale GC, 70-69-74-66--279
Keith Humerickhouse, Glenwood Springs GC, 69-72-67-71--279
Adam Griffith, Thorncreek GC, 76-70-67-67--280
Grant Rogers, Omni Interlocken GC, 71-67-72-70--280
Tanner Jenson, Ridge at Castle Pines N., 70-68-72-71--281
Jonathan Marsico, Castle Pines GC, 69-72-71-69--281
Chris Korte, Lone Tree GC, 65-72-75-70--282
Jacob Allenback, Walking Stick GC, 66-75-71-70--282
Cole Cunningham, Valley CC, 74-70-68-71--283
Brendan Connolly, Ridge at Castle Pines N., 72-74-68-69--283
Dylan Mitchell, Lakewood CC, 73-73-70-67--283
Christopher Thayer, Bear Creek GC, 70-76-70-67--283
Alex Kephart, Eisenhower GC, 70-72-73-69--284
Steve Connell, Riverdale GC, 70-71-72-71--284
A.J. Morris, River Valley Ranch GC, 71-71-71-71--284
Eric Hallberg, Colorado GC, 71-64-78-72--285
Grant Dinkel, Flatirons GC, 75-71-68-71--285
Danny Riskam, Columbine CC, 70-74-69-73--286
Matt Porter, CommonGround GC, 73-72-70-71--286
Brian Dorfman, Cherry Creek CC, 70-72-70-75--287
Christopher Wilson, Eisenhower GC, 74-68-74-71--287
Cody Kent, CC at Castle Pines, 68-73-75-72--288
Colin Prater, Broadmoor GC, 70-73-72-73--288
Matt Robertson, Foothills GC, 75-71-73-70--289
Matthew Goddard, Ptarmigan CC, 69-77-71-73--290
Drew Vance, Raccoon Creek GC, 72-74-71-75--292
Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC, 70-75-73-75--293
Zach Tripp, Foothills GC, 77-70-70-77--294
James Banyas, CommonGround GC, 70-77-72-75--294
Behrod Keshtavar, CJGA Club, 71-75-75-74--295
Ryan Schmitz, Colorado GC, 72-75-76-73--296
Michael McNulty, Fossil Trace GC, 72-73-78-73--296
Ryan Sturm, Buffalo Run GC, 73-74-82-73--302
MISSED 36-HOLE CUT
Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC, 73-75--148
Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC, 76-72--148
Dylan Wonnacott, Fox Hill CC, 73-75--148
Sean Thomas, Indian Tree GC, 74-74--148
Sam Marley, South Suburban GC, 75-73--148
Josh Gardella, Highlands Ranch GC, 72-77--149
Curt Jenkins, Lakewood CC, 70-79--149
Tyler Steigerwald, Club at Flying Horse, 76-74--150
Tristan Sanders, CommonGround GC, 79-71--150
Nathaniel Goddard, Ptarmigan CC, 74-76--150
Mike Chavez, Applewood GC, 77-73--150
Drew Trujillo, The Bridges, 73-78--151
Michael Passananti, Desert Hawk GC, 76-75--151
Wesley Martin, CommonGround GC, 77-75--152
Sean Kato, Highland Hills GC, 81-71--152
John Luoma, Colorado GC, 75-77--152
Jack Cummings, Omni Interlocken GC, 78-74--152
Jack Adolfson, Colorado National GC, 76-77--153
Jared Bickling, Gypsum Creek GC, 75-78--153
Adam Pladson, Aurora Hills GC, 75-78--153
Ethan Yamada, Omni Interlocken GC, 78-75--153
Will Myer, Denver CC, 77-76--153
Billy Ramsey, Lone Tree GC, 80-74--154
Mitch Shinkle, Lake Arbor GC, 82-72--154
Clayton Crawford, Maroon Creek Club, 77-77--154
Kevin Liao, CJGA Club, 76-78--154
Tristan Rohrbaugh, Ironbridge GC, 79-76--155
Jared Tedesco, Plum Creek G&CC, 76-79--155
James Adam Jones, South Suburban GC, 82-74--156
Trevor McKune, Pinehurst CC, 78-79--157
Brent Modak, City Park GC, 75-82--157
Cameron Berndt, Spring Valley GC, 80-77--157
Matthew Weiss, Highlands Ranch GC, 80-78--158
Hunter Lee, Highlands Ranch GC, 79-79--158
Neil Tillman, Heritage at Westmoor, 81-78--159
Ray Makloski, Pueblo CC, 78-83--161
Adam Thoutt, Legacy Ridge GC, 80-81--161
Brian Kittleson, Eagle Ranch GC, 79-82--161
Chris Jones, CC at Castle Pines, 81-83--164
Chad Gonzalez, Pinery Country Club, 86-78--164
Matt Lazzeri, Lakewood CC, 81-85--166
Lamar Carlile, City Park GC, 78-WD--WD
Jeffrey Gravina, Pinehurst CC, WD