Doing Colorado Proud

Jake Staiano becomes first Coloradan since 2016 to win Sinclair Rocky Mountain Open; Jackson Solem ties for sixth and earns low-am honors; Colorado amateur Darren Edwards captures overall title at Navajo Trail Open

By Gary Baines – 8/28/2021

Four weeks ago, Coloradans Jake Staiano and Derek Fribbs came up just short of winning the CoBank Colorado Open, tying for second place, a stroke behind champion Alex Weiss of Winter Haven, Fla.

But less than a month after those near misses, both Staiano and Fribbs have come back to record victories of their own in open championships. 

Fribbs did it last weekend at the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open, winning $20,000 in the process.

Then on Saturday, it was the Staiano’s turn. The Englewood resident went wire-to-wire and captured the title in the Sinclair Rocky Mountain Open in Grand Junction, also winning $20,000.

The former CGA Player of the Year went 66-66-67 at Tiara Rado Golf Course to finish at 14-under-par 199, good for a one-stroke victory. 

Staiano became the first Coloradan to win the RMO since Nick Mason in 2016.

Staiano, who played his college golf at Colorado State University, started out strong on Saturday, going 5 under par for his first seven holes, making three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 sixth. He dropped strokes with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9, but regained them with birdies on 15 and 16. Even a final-hole bogey didn’t keep him from the win in regulation.

Pro Ryan Emery of Surprise, Ariz., closed with a 65 to finish second, a stroke back of Staiano. Pro Ben Geyer of Arbuckle, Calif., who shared the lead with Staiano after rounds 1 and 2, placed third at 201 after a final-round 69.

Taking low-amateur honors — and tying for sixth overall — on Saturday was Jackson Solem of Longmont, a University of Denver golfer who competed in the U.S. Amateur earlier this month. Solem carded scores of 69-68-66 for a 10-under-par 203 total, which was six shots better than the next-best amateur. Over the three days, Solem made three eagles, 11 birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.

For the scores of all divisions at the RMO, CLICK HERE.

Darren Edwards. (Photo: Hillcrest Golf Club Facebook)

(Updated August 30) Colorado Amateur Darren Edwards Wins Navajo Trail Open: Meanwhile, at the Navajo Trail Open at Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango, an amateur captured the overall title on Sunday. Darren Edwards of Loveland, a Fort Lewis College golfer, posted a 13-under-par 200 total, going 66-69-65. The 2017 4A state high school individual champion from Thompson Valley prevailed by two strokes over former NTO champion Wil Collins, a pro from Albuquerque who earned $5,500. For all the results, CLICK HERE.