Coloradans come up big

CGA president Gary Albrecht captures title in Golfweek Senior Division National Championship; fellow Coloradans Jon Lindstrom and David Nelson also place in top 6

By Gary Baines – 3/29/2023

The Golfweek Senior Division National Championship took place early this week in Palm Desert, Calif., and featured a field of more than 80 players. But Coloradans particularly did themselves very proud as three of the top six finishers — including the champion — hail from the Centennial State.

Gary Albrecht, who this year became the president of the CGA’s volunteer board of directors, prevailed on the first hole of a playoff to claim the title.

Joining him in the top six on Tuesday at Desert Willow Golf Club were Jon Lindstrom of Denver (third place) and David Nelson of Littleton (sixth).

Albrecht, a 66-year-old lawyer who spends much of the winter in Indian Wells, Calif., went 73-68-73 for a 2-under-par 214 total. Then on the first extra hole he defeated Kory Frost of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., who closed with a 68 and played his final 10 holes of regulation in 6 under par.

“My game wasn’t all working, but it all worked at different times,” Albrecht told Golfweek.

In the playoff, Albrecht went with a putter from just off the green on the par-4 first hole. His ball hit the flagstick and finished less than a foot away for a tap-in par. Frost missed a 5-foot par attempt that would have forced a second playoff hole.

Albrecht prevailed on Tuesday despite playing the first five holes in 3 over par. But he rallied to go 2 under for his final dozen holes of regulation.

“I was comfortable coming in,” Albrecht said. “I was hitting the ball well and the first round I thought I didn’t putt real well but I was right there. I putted real well in round 2 and made a move up the leaderboard and then today was really just a matter of holding it together.”

For the tournament, Albrecht finished with 11 birdies and nine bogeys.

Albrecht, who has averaged more than 190 rounds of golf over the past three years, has been one of the better senior/super-senior amateur players in Colorado over the last decade. He won the 2017 CGA Super-Senior Amateur and has qualified for two U.S. Senior Amateurs. As a 60-something, he won the open-age club championship at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora. Back in the early 1980s, Albrecht twice qualified for the world long-drive championship, and he competed in the one held in conjunction with the 1982 PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.

Lindstrom, a three-time CGA Mid-Amateur champ and four times the low amateur in the Inspirato Colorado Senior Open, could have been part of the playoff had he birdied No. 18 on Tuesday. As it was, he finished a stroke back of Albrecht and Frost. Lindstrom rallied from a first-round 76 with scores of 70 and 69 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. 

Nelson, twice a CGA Super-Senior Player of the Year, went 75-73-70 in Palm Desert to check in at 2-over-par 218.

For all the scores from the Golfweek Senior Division National Championship, CLICK HERE.

For more about Albrecht in his role as CGA president, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates