Repeat After Me

Former pros Parker Edens and Jimmy Makloski set tournament scoring record as they win second straight season-opening CGA Four-Ball

By Gary Baines – 5/5/2024

The first CGA championship of 2024 looked a lot like the first one from 2023 — only up a notch or two for the champions.

A year after Parker Edens, who grew up in Greeley, and Jimmy Makloski from Pueblo teamed up to win the CGA Four-Ball on the second hole of a playoff, the two longtime buddies made it a runaway this time. 

The two college golf coaches — Edens is men’s head coach at South Dakota State, while Makloski is an assistant at the Air Force Academy — not only cruised to a six-stroke victory on Sunday at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster, but they did so in record-setting fashion.

With Edens’ two-putt birdie on the 54th and final hole, he and Makloski posted the best three-round score in the history of the event, which was first played in 1972. Despite a better-ball bogey on their next-to-last hole, they finished at 28 under par (61 at Legacy Ridge-64 at Todd Creek-63 at Legacy Ridge), breaking the previous mark of 27 under, set by Chris Thayer and Bryan Rusin three years ago. The sudden-death playoffs at the Four-Ball the last two years have been sandwiched by a seven-stroke victory by Thayer and Rusin in 2021 and Sunday’s six-shot win by Edens and Makloski.

“I think it was right as we were driving down (hole) 1, I said to Jim, ‘I don’t care what anybody else does, I don’t know what the record is, but let’s get 8 or 9 more (under par on Sunday) and we’re going to be close,” Edens said Sunday afternoon. “Then we got cooking and I thought on the back nine we could get to 30 (under), but we had a bogey on 17.”

In addition, Edens and Makloski become just the third back-to-back winners of the CGA Four-Ball, joining Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Rick DeWitt and Mike Glaesel (1998 and ’99) and Jon Lindstrom and Richard Bradsby (2017 and ’18).

Edens (right) congratulates Makloski on his birdie on the ninth hole on Sunday.

Edens, 33, and Makloski, 29, having known one another since they were kids, having met through their mutual acquaintance with the family of Michael Lee, another prominent junior golfer of their era who went on to win the 2011 CGA Match Play and who passed away in late 2020 after battling Covid-19. Edens and Makloski subsequently crossed paths for one season as Colorado State University golfers, and have remained good friends over the years. Both gave professional golf a shot before being reinstated as amateurs. 

“It’s always more fun to me winning a tournament with a friend, with a partner,” said Makloski, who won the 2012 CGA Junior Stroke Play and the 2016 CGA Parent-Child with his day, Ray. “There’s a lot of good players who play these things. Winning together is so much more fun. It’s fine winning by yourself, but it’s more fun (with a friend).”

While Makloski had competed in the CGA Four-Ball once before last year — when he teamed up with Ray — Edens hadn’t teed it up in the event before 2023. That means he’s known nothing but victory in the championship during his brief history in it. 

“It’s a cool event,” Edens said. “You don’t get to be on a team (in golf) very often. We’re kind of the exceptions to that; we’re in that realm most of the time (as college coaches). Here, you’re playing as a team, and you’re kind of caddying for (your teammate), reading putts and helping club each other. It’s different, and it’s a fun way to start the year for sure.”

Makloski (left) and Edens helped each other out throughout the CGA Four-Ball.

Edens and Makloski led by three strokes after round 1 and by five after round 2. And their advantage wasn’t seriously threatened on Sunday as Edens rolled in a 12-foot eagle on No. 3 and Makloski drove the par-4 seventh and two-putted for birdie en route to a better-ball 30 on the front nine. Their only blemish of the day came on No. 17, where Edens missed the green short and failed to get up and down, and Makloski three-putted, giving them a best-ball bogey. 

But they rebounded on the par-5 18th as both players hit the green in two and Edens two-putted for birdie, good for a 9-under 63 on the day and the record 28-under total.

Charlie Tucker (left) and Nick Fallin placed second on Sunday.

Charlie Tucker, the CSU signee who won the CGA State Junior Championship and the 5A boys state high school tournament last year, and former Rocky Canyon High School teammate Nick Fallin closed with a 10-under 62 to take second place at 22 under. Both players eagled the third hole on Sunday.

University of Colorado teammates Hunter Swanson and Wes Erling came up with the round of the tournament to vault into third place. They played the six-hole stretch from 9-14 in 7 under par en route to a 60, which left them at 21 under par overall and a stroke back of Tucker and Fallin. 

CU golfers Hunter Swanson (left) and Wes Erling teamed up for a 60 on Sunday, which vaulted them into third place.

Colin Prater, the men’s 2020 and ’23 CGA Player of the Year, and Adam Jardon of Cherokee Ridge Golf Course claimed fourth place at 20 under.

Edens has been on quite a personal roll with his golf game over the last year. During that period, he’s won the CGA Four-Ball twice, finished second in the Inspirato Colorado Open while tying the tournament’s amateur scoring record, advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and claimed titles in the South Dakota Golf Association Match Play and Mid-Amateur. He was also named the SDGA Men’s Player of the Year for 2023.

“I would say last year was the best golf I’ve ever played for sure — circumstances, golf courses, whatever,” Edens said. “I’ve done a lot of reflection on that and dug into the space I was in last year and I can confidently say the last year and a half was the best golf I’ve played.

“The last couple of years I’ve gotten a better grasp on time management and practice — in life and work and everything — to where when I do go to the golf course, it’s just golf. It’s my time to get away and really dig into what I’m doing. I’ve just been better at time management. My game has become more efficient. I’ve started to get a little better at things I wasn’t (great at) when I was playing (as a pro) and in college. I’m really believing in my process and in my game. Whether it’s flashy or not, I just really believe that what I’m doing are the right things.”

Humans weren’t the only ones watching the action on Sunday.

Indeed, both in the cases of Edens and Makloski, it should be noted that their college coaching duties for the season concluded just several days before the start of the CGA Four-Ball. Suffice it to say that neither got a lot of prep time — or practice — in the weeks leading up to the CGA season opener.

“I think we were both looking a little rusty when we came out on Thursday (for a practice round),” Makloski said. “We both just finished (up coaching for the season). But we timed it up.”

Helping out in that regard was this being a partner event, so the occasional off hole could be covered by a teammate.

“Thursday when we teed it up here to play 18 holes ahead of time was like the fourth time I touched my clubs since the first week of March — to practice, play, anything,” Edens note. “I knew I was going to be really rusty. But I felt like I played pretty good.

“The 18 holes Thursday were big to kind of have an idea how I was swinging it, how I was playing. I saw a few putts go in early on Friday, which kind of loosened me up a little bit. Playing on a team — having Jimmy — it takes a little bit of pressure off you. It kind of frees you up a little bit.”

Sunday’s win was a true team effort for Makloski and Edens.

Indeed, neither Edens nor Makloski often let down his partner when a pick-me-up was necessary. In 54 holes, they recorded just two best-ball bogeys.

“I like Legacy Ridge pretty well and I played pretty good (in round 1 here). Jimmy likes Todd Creek,” Edens noted. “I made eight birdies here on Friday and he made a ton of birdies yesterday (seven, along with an eagle, at Todd Creek). Then we just ham-and-egged it pretty good today (an eagle and four birdies by Edens, and five birdies by Makloski). We put it all together.”

For all the results from the CGA Four-Ball, 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. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates