Quick Off The Mark

Coming off victory in South Dakota, reinstated amateur Parker Edens starts fast with 65 in Inspirato Colorado Open; defending champ Will Collins leads after 62

By Gary Baines – 7/20/2023

Parker Edens knows what it’s like to compete in tournaments such as the Inspirato Colorado Open as a playing professional — as he once was one.

Nowadays, Edens is a reinstated amateur with a full-time job that doesn’t revolve around his personal playing ability at tournaments. Instead, the longtime northern Coloradan is the head coach of the men’s golf team at South Dakota State.

But on Thursday, Edens demonstrated once again that no matter his situation, he has some game.

The former Colorado State University player and assistant coach shot a year 6-under-par 65 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, putting him near the top of the day 1 leaderboard at the $250,000 Colorado Open.

Edens carded seven birdies and one bogey, continuing his recent strong play. Just last week, he won the South Dakota Golf Association Match Play title in Rapid City.

There’s still three days remaining at the Colorado Open, but it should be noted that only two amateurs have captured overall titles in the Open: Gary Longfellow in 1974 and Brian Guetz in 1994.

But amateurs have been in the overall mix on a couple of occasions in recent years at the Colorado Open. For instance, Connor Jones of Westminster tied for third place last year and Easton Paxton was fifth in 2021.

Edens is no stranger to strong finishes in big championships in Colorado. That includes finishing runner-up once in the CGA Amateur and twice in the CGA Match Play. Earlier this year, he teamed with Jimmy Makloski to capture the CGA Four-Ball title.

Edens trails first-round leader — and defending champion — Wil Collins of Albuquerque by three strokes after Collins shot a bogey-free 62 that included an eagle and seven birdies.

Notable: David Duval of Cherry Hills Village, who was exempt into this week’s British Open but instead decided to compete at the Colorado Open alongside son Brady, shot a 73 on Thursday. His round included just six pars. …. Former champion Dru Love — who has his dad, World Golf Hall of Famer Davis Love, caddying for him this week — opened with a 75.

To keep track of all the scoring from the 2023 Colorado Open, CLICK HERE.