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Arp Finishes on a High Note

Former CSU golfer wins Public Links for first CGA title


by Gary Baines - 6/27/2010


Being denied victory a few times can make winning all the sweeter when it does eventually happen.

Just ask Riley Arp about that.

The Collindale Golf Club regular finished second three times as a college player, but never did win an individual title during his career at Colorado State University. And it looked like things might play out similarly for Arp in CGA championships, where he often contended but never won.

Never until Sunday, that is. In what was, ironically, his final CGA championship before he turns pro next month, Arp claimed his first CGA title, winning the Public Links trophy at Hyland Hills Golf Course in Westminster.

"To say the least, I've wanted it," said Arp, who plans to make his pro debut at next month's HealthOne Colorado Open. "I've played in these (CGA events) for the last five or six years, and I've come close a lot but I've never been able to pull one out. It swung my way today. It was a battle right down to the end, so I enjoyed it."

A year after finishing second in the CGA Publinks and fifth in the CGA Stroke Play, Arp came out on top at Hyland Hills, overcoming a one-stroke deficit with three holes to play.

Arp shot a 3-under-par 69 in the final round to prevail by two strokes over Sean Thomas of Indian Tree Golf Course, who closed with a 70. Arp finished at 13-under-par 203 for three rounds.

How the final holes played out was particularly satisfying for Arp considering that last year at the Publinks he led by two strokes with three holes remaining, but two birdies by CSU teammate Zahkai Brown, and a bogey by Arp, resulted in a one-shot victory for Brown.

With that and other close calls in mind, Arp was asked how highly he ranked Sunday's win among his golf accomplishments.

"I don't know if I'd put anything higher," said the 22-year-old. "My second-place finish at (the 2008 Mountain West Conference tournament) was pretty good. And I've had a couple of seconds in college tournaments with pretty good fields, but second is just the first loser. So this ranks up there."

Winning the Publinks title was anything but a cakewalk on Sunday.

Thomas, who plays for CSU-Pueblo, made five birdies from holes nine through 15 to grab a one-shot lead. But he missed the green on the par-3 16th and took bogey, then recorded a double bogey on 17 after hitting his tee shot under a tree, punching out to the fairway, and later three-putting. Both Arp and Thomas birdied the final hole to give Arp the two-stroke victory.

"I felt great about the way I was playing," said Thomas, who posted his best finish ever in a CGA championship, with his second-round 66 matching his all-time tournament best. "I just kind of tugged a wedge on 16. And on 17 I hit a really good 3-wood and it just caught that pine tree, so I had to chip out. Unfortunately, I three-putted, but I had to go for it."

"But Riley is a really good player and a really good competitor."

Arp went birdie-eagle earlier in the back nine, and only a sporadic putter kept him from posting a final nine much lower than the 33 he recorded. In the final six holes, he missed three putts inside of 6 feet.

"Today I'm one down going into 16 and I thought, "I'm not even nervous. I feel pretty good about this. I feel confident, a lot more confident than I have in a long time."

"I changed my grip this week and I started hitting the golf ball again. It started going exactly where I wanted it to, with the ball flight I'm used to. And it hasn't been like that the last couple of months. Things felt right. I felt like I should be there."

Indeed, after a tough end to the spring college season, Arp has been rounding back into form. This week, besides winning the CGA Publinks, he also qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

Meanwhile, Brown, who played high school golf at Pomona with Thomas and college golf at CSU with Arp, was in contention Sunday for a second straight CGA Publinks title, but a final-round 72 left him in third place with a 208 total.

CGA Public Links Championship Scores
At Par-72 Hyland Hills GC in Westminster

VIEW COMPLETE LEADERBOARD AND SCORECARDS

Riley Arp, Collindale GC, 69-65-69--203
Sean Thomas, Indian Tree GC, 69-66-70--205
Zahkai Brown, Indian Tree GC, 66-70-72--208
James Kurtenbach, South Suburban GC, 70-71-68--209
Branson Real, Wray CC, 67-71-71--209
Keenan Holt, Hillcrest GC, 70-69-71--210
Keith Humerickhouse, Glenwood Springs GC, 71-72-69--212
Devin Schreiner, Hillcrest GC, 70-74-70--214
Branden Barron, South Suburban Family Sports, 69-72-73--214
Andy Dannewitz, Meadow Hills GC, 69-74-72--215
Dean Clapp, Meadow Hills GC, 75-70-71--216
Riley Andrews, The Links GC, 75-70-71--216
Nick Tarasiewicz, Patty Jewett GC, 76-68-72--216
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC, 73-73-71--217
Dario Ortega, Olde Course at Loveland, 66-74-77--217
Stu Allen, Fox Hollow GC, 76-72-70--218
Jordan Burgess, Highland Hills GC, 76-68-74--218
Jon Lindstrom, Heritage at Westmoor, 71-73-74--218
Zach Johnson, West Woods GC, 76-73-70--219
Andy Moore, Olde Course at Loveland, 75-74-71--220
Richard Moore, Murphy Creek GC, 74-71-75--220
Clinton Miller, Meadow Hills GC, 76-73-72--221
Brian Richmeier, Meadow Hills GC, 74-74-73--221
Joseph Schwark, Colorado National GC, 74-73-74--221
Henry Bissell, The Meadows GC, 75-70-76--221
Matt Porter, Ridge at Castle Pines North, 71-76-75--222
Zach Zaremba, Desert Hawk GC, 74-73-76--223
Chris Carlson, Highlands Ranch GC, 73-74-76--223
Neil Huffaker, Lake Arbor GC, 76-71-76--223
Bryan Kruse, Heritage at Westmoor, 75-73-76--224
Ben Lyons, South Suburban GC, 71-76-77--224
Scott Rohrer, Colorado National GC, 77-75-73--225
Joseph Smith, South Suburban GC, 72-78-75--225
Matt Rubin, Red Hawk Ridge GC, 75-72-79--226
Jason Marshall, Murphy Creek GC, 77-75-75--227
Kenneth Forward, Omni Interlocken GC, 76-72-79--227
Neil Metz, Flatirons GC, 71-81-76--228
Blake Mitchell, Olde Course at Loveland, 74-75-79--228
Adam Pladson, Meadow Hills GC, 78-72-79--229
Aaron Gardner, B D Golfing Society, 78-73-79--230
Adam Golesh, Broken Tee Englewood, 71-79-80--230

Failed to Qualify for Final Round
Nathan Evans, Spring Valley GC, 77-76--153
Rod Walters, Westwoods GC, 77-77--154
Steve Ivy, Pelican Lakes G & CC, 78-76--154
Davin Sjoberg, Dos Rios CC, 73-81--154
Wesley Martin, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 76-78--154
Kyle Thurman, Eagle Trace GC, 78-76--154
Charles Chon, CommonGround GC, 82-72--154
Robert Glucksman, Wellshire GC, 81-74--155
Mark Brown, Highlands Ranch Golf Club, 78-77--155
Clint Guerra, Broken Tee Englewood, 79-76--155
Eloy Ramos, CommonGround GC, 81-75--156
Nicholas Welshons, AvidGolfer Club, 82-74--156
Steve Hackenberg, Riverdale GC, 78-78--156
Scott Patterson, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 82-74--156
Arnold Hoy, CommonGround GC, 81-76--157
Lamar Carlile, City Park GC, 83-74--157
Grant Javernick, Meadow Hills GC, 82-75--157
Greg Bollefer, Green Valley Ranch GC, 79-78--157
Wlad Colmenares, Murphy Creek GC, 82-76--158
Paul Snyder, Riverdale GC, 81-77--158
Nick Umholtz, Boomerang GL, 86-73--159
Timothy Scarponcini, The Meadows GC, 80-79--159
Chris Sellitto, Fox Hollow GC, 77-82--159
Jay-Jay Botha, Broken Tee Englewood, 83-77--160
Owen Ellis, Flatirons GC, 81-79--160
Whit Patterson, Fox Hollow GC, 79-82--161
Greg Johnson, Heritage at Westmoor, 81-80--161
Joe Boeckenstedt, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 79-82--161
John Augst, Broadlands GC, 80-81--161
Jeff Diehl, Fox Hollow GC, 84-78--162
Steve Hannon, Legacy Ridge GC, 85-77--162
Alex Hiser, King's Deer GC, 79-84--163
Mark Zelazek, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 83-80--163
Jacob Chong, CommonGround GC, 84-79--163
Wesley Castle, Green Valley Ranch GC, 84-79--163
Matthew Parish, CommonGround GC, 78-86--164
Danny Wyrick, AvidGolfer Club, 87-77--164
Steve Foulke, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 90-78--168
Mark Lundquist, Fox Hollow GC, 83-86--169
Dan Kahn, CommonGround GC, 79-91--170
Bill Parker, Front Range GC, 85-86--171
Mike Caldwell, Thorncreek GC, 85-88--173
Patrick Hill, The Courses at Hyland Hills, 75-DQ 
 

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