Opportunity Knocks

Longtime Coloradan Parker Edens, looking to become just third amateur to win overall title at Colorado Open, shares lead going into final round

By Gary Baines – 7/22/2023

For obvious reasons, it’s a huge deal that there’s a $100,000 prize up for grabs for some fortunate — and talented — golfer at the Inspirato Colorado Open.

But keep in mind that that $100,000 goes to the low pro in the tournament at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club. But what happens if an amateur claims the overall title? 

He would still claim the championship trophy, but that $100k would go to the highest-finishing pro.

We bring this up because an amateur — along with two pros — holds the lead going into Sunday’s final round of the Open. Longtime northern Colorado resident Parker Edens — a former pro who regained his amateur status — is tied for the top spot with pros Walker Lee of Houston and Andre Metzger of Scottsdale, Ariz.

All three stand at 17 under par through Saturday’s third round, with Edens and Lee matching 65s and Metzger carding a 68. Metzger actually shot a 67 but signed for one higher, costing him the outright lead going into Sunday.

Edens, a former Colorado State men’s golf assistant coach who’s now head coach at South Dakota State, is coming off a victory last week in the South Dakota Golf Association Match Play in Rapid City.

Edens recorded seven birdies and one bogey on Saturday, continuing his steady, stellar player as he’s gone 65-66-65 so far this week.

The former CSU golfer is bidding to become just the third amateur to claim the overall title at the Colorado Open — and the first since 1994. Gary Longfellow won the event as an amateur in 1974 and Brian Guetz two decades later. It should be noted that CSU golfer Connor Jones of Westminster was in contention for the title last year, tying for third, four back of winner Wil Collins.

Edens has long been one of the better amateur players in Colorado, having finished runner-up once in the CGA Amateur and twice in the CGA Match Play. Earlier this year, he teamed with Jimmy Makloski to earn the CGA Four-Ball title.

Lee, a former Texas A&M golfer, meanwhile, matched Eden’s seven-birdie, one-bogey effort on Saturday. As for Metzger, who’s played 27 events on the Korn Ferry Tour in his career, he posted four birdies and one bogey on Saturday.

Ryan Cole of Mount Airy, Md., sits in fourth place, one back of the co-leaders. Turk Pettit of Sugar Grove, N.C., is another stroke behind.

A couple of other Coloradans are in the top 10 through 36 holes: AJ Ott of Fort Collins and Cal McCoy of Denver (both tied for eighth, five out of the lead). Ott, a former CSU golfer, shot a third-round 65 — with a 6-under 30 on the back nine — and McCoy a 66.

Kevin Stadler of Denver, winner of a Colorado Open in 2002 and a PGA Tour event in 2014, recorded his third straight round in the 60s — 67-69-68 — to check in at 9 under par.

Edens is running away with the low-am competition, owning an eight-stroke lead going into Sunday.

For all the scores from the 2023 Colorado Open, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates