Say What?

Revisiting some of the most notable quotables in Colorado golf in 2018
by Gary Baines

Before we bid adieu to 2018, we have one last bit of unfinished business regarding our year-end retrospectives.

Yes, it’s time to revisit some of the most memorable, insightful, profound and/or funny quotes of 2018 from the world of Colorado golf.

In other words, our most notable quotables.

Here are our picks for 2018:

— Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz on qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor:

“I don’t know if there’s a cloud higher than Cloud Nine, but that’s where I feel like I’ve been.

“It’s probably the No. 1 thing that I’ve ever accomplished.

— Then-State Senator Lucia Guzman said after fellow Senator Jack Tate read a tribute to golf during Golf Alliance Day at the Capitol:

“Golf is a good thing. It’s good for the economy. It’s good for the soul, so get out and do it.”

— Former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi, who has never competed in a USGA championship other than the two U.S. Women’s Opens for which she’s qualified:

“It’s the biggest tournament. I feel like I’ve had a big jump. I feel like I’m missing the (USGA) in-betweeners. I think it’s weird.”

— Former CWGA/CGA president Juliet Miner (above), on being honored as the CGA women’s volunteer of year:

“I’m a comer, I’m a doer, I’m a participant.”

— Retired District Judge Tom Kennedy on winning the Jim Topliff Award as the CGA’s on-course rules official of the year in late 2017:

“I think it was a pretty easy transition for me because I spent my entire adult life dealing with the law, dealing with the rules and learning how to understand them and apply them to the factual situation that existed at that time. As I told people when I first started doing this, ‘I’m used to calling balls and strikes. That’s what I’ve been doing all my adult life.'”

— Oswaldo Morales, a Coloradan who received the full-tuition and housing Evans Scholarship for caddies in 2018:

The Evans scholarship will “not make A difference in my life, but THE difference.”

— An article in, the digital home of The Arizona Republic newspaper, on the social media phenomenon that is Paige Spiranac, who grew up in Colorado and won the 2015 CWGA Match Play title:

“She picked up her first individual win in years, and checked her phone as she walked off the course, assuming the stream of texts was to congratulate her. Then she checked Instagram.

“Thousands of people had followed her. As she searched for explanation, a friend texted her a link to an article on (name redacted), a website devoted to frat parties and college girls. Spiranac clicked the link. The bro-targeted site had declared, “The Whole World Is About To Fall In Love With Paige Spiranac,” complete with a dozen photos and a link to her Instagram account.

“… Thousands of more people found her and followed Spiranac. She told her sister she just wanted a ‘K,’ to see her follower count tick from ‘9,999’ to ’10K.’ That happened in a few hours. Then it kept climbing.

“Twenty-thousand. Fifty. By the next day, she had more than 100,000 followers.”

— Three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin, who grew up in Boulder, on the end of an era regarding 18-hole playoffs at the U.S. Open:

“It’s not a surprise, frankly. I’m sure there have been a lot of opinions expressed to see a winner determined on Sunday, be it fans or media or Fox Sports, which is paying umpteen millions to broadcast the U.S. Open. I think tradition had to take a backseat here to the times we live in.”

— CGA executive director Ed Mate, at the Women’s Annual Meeting regarding CGA/CWGA unification, which took place a year ago:

“We’re just better together. It’s that simple.”

— Mate, in an interview with We Are Golf, on caddying:

“Caddying embodies some of the most important and fundamental attributes of our sport that make it great. Golf is a game of a lifetime and caddying puts young and old together to share it. Golf promotes health and wellness and caddies make it more enjoyable for adults to walk and gets kids outside and away from their video screens. Golf is a social game; show me a group of four golfers with four caddies and I will show you eight people having a great time.”

— Three-time CGA Mid-Amateur champion Jon Lindstrom (left), on learning he had prostate cancer in 2017, shortly after turning 50:

“It wasn’t on my radar at all, then all of a sudden it went from 0 to 100 with a (mortality) scare. I was telling everyone I golf with who are over 40 to go get the blood test at the very least during your next physical because you never know. I had no symptoms or family history of this.

“Now that I’m a prostate cancer expert (he said with a bit of a laugh) … Obviously I had cancer before I was 50 because it didn’t just happen overnight, so I’d recommend at least having the discussion of the blood test starting at 40. Obviously I had it at some point in my 40s. The earlier you get it, the more options you have. That’s the biggest thing. There’s several different routes you can go, but the sooner you know, the more options you have.”

— CGA executive director Ed Mate, on Golf Alliance Day at the Capitol, an opportunity for golf industry leaders to meet state lawmakers:

“We have to kind of keep chipping away at the image” of the golf industry, referring to the stubborn perceptions that it wastes water and resourses and is inaccessible. “There’s always going to be people who think golf is the Masters. I think it’s worked out well that we follow the Masters (for Golf Alliance Day at the Capitol). It’s a nice landmark date. That (venue and event) is unique. This (Golf Alliance Day at the Capitol) is about affordability, and not emerald green (grass) but environmental stewardship.”

— Colorado PGA execuctive director Eddie Ainsworth, on a growing number of rounds played, according to the Public Golf Course Rounds and Revenue Survey:

“As long as the weather cooperates, I think rounds should continue to increase. All the things that everybody is doing to grow the game — all the efforts to make golf more inclusive, what we’re doing with junior golf and trying to get more families out at the golf course, private clubs becoming more family entertainment centers to get the entire family involved — I think everybody’s efforts are paying some dividends.”

— Runner-up Alex Buecking, after Jon Lindstrom teamed with Richard Bradsby and became the first person to win the CGA Four-Ball title at least four times:

“I’m going to create a conflict for Lindstrom next year” for this event.

— Wake Forest golfer and Westminster resident Jennifer Kupcho, after winning the women’s NCAA Division I individual title a week after turning 21 and on her parents’ 35th wedding anniversary:

“It’s awesome. It’s so fun to have my teammates here. To win this on my parents’ anniversary is even better. I’m really excited for that.”

— A year after Davis Bryant and younger sister Emma Bryant jointly won all four Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado majors in 2017, they completed a sweep of the boys and girls 5A state high school titles in the same school year. Said Emma:

“After he won state we were like, ‘Oh that would be so cool if Emma won state too. That’s never happened before.’ I was like, ‘It could happen. I don’t know. I guess you’ve got to see where the cards fall.’ Getting the Bryant Slam was so cool, but us both winning state … Thinking who won state this season, it’ll be, ‘Oh, Emma and Davis Bryant, they both won state.’ That’s so cool. I’m not exactly walking in his footsteps; I’m kind of building my own path a little bit. But I’m going back to his path a tad bit.”

— Two players with 44 CGA women’s championships between them at that point — Colorado Golf Hall of Famers Kim Eaton and Janet Moore (left) — teamed up for the first time to win another in May at the CGA Women’s Brassie. Said Eaton:

“We have never, ever played together as partners. It’s kind of like a no-brainer, right?”

— Despite his stellar record as a player, World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin, who grew up in Boulder, was pleasantly surprised to become a Memorial Tournament honoree, joining a group which includes many of the top players in history.

“I have a hard time putting myself in that category with the greats of the past, so I am absolutely delighted.”

— Colorado PGA professional Doug Rohrbaugh, on qualifying for his fourth U.S. Senior Open, this one at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs:

“Four times (in the Senior Open) is obviously amazing, but to play in your backyard … I’ve been thinking about this ever since I saw it was on the schedule — thinking how cool it would be to have family and friends come down. It’s huge.”

— Guy Mertz, on teaming with son Nick to win the CGA Parent/Child title:

“I’d put this up there with any of the wins I’ve ever had, maybe above them all. When you win with your son it means more than just winning by yourself.”

— Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Janet Moore, on qualifying for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open:

“This one is very special for me. Normally I don’t get too nervous for qualifiers. I was nervous for this one, and already I’m nervous for the tournament and it’s a month away. This is very special to play in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open. It’s the biggest (USGA event) I’ve played in.

“My friend Ellen Port (a seven-time USGA champ) is exempt. And she said, ‘Janet, I want you to come out and watch.’ I said, ‘Ellen, I’m going to try to play.’ She’s like, ‘I’m sorry. I forgot.’ I’m anxious to text her and say, ‘Hey, I’m playing too.'”

— Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Brandt Jobe, on returning to the state to play the U.S. Senior Open:

“This has always been home so it’s nice to come back. I’ve got nephews and nieces that have never even seen me play golf. That will be kind of cool.”

— Jobe, on finishing fifth at the U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor:

“It would have been so cool” to win in his old home state. “That was my goal. Two unbelievable chances (this and the 2005 International). It was out there for me. … I guess it wasn’t meant to be. It wasn’t my day.”

— Fred Couples, on playing the U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor:

“These greens, I think they’re (tougher) than Oakmont and Oakmont’s are the hardest greens I’ve ever seen. I think they’re brutal (here).”

Added Bernhard Langer, regarding the Broadmoor greens:

“They’re as severe as they get. Fred and I played in many Masters over the years. And they’re pretty severe and tough (at Augusta National). But these probably are another level still.”

— Colorado Sports Hall of Famer Hale Irwin, on possibly playing his final U.S. Senior Open in the Centennial State:

“If it was (my last) — and we’re not saying that — being here around family and friends and the old stomping grounds, sure there’s a great deal of nostalgia here. Going into the clubhouse and seeing the old 1967 Broadmoor Invitation (a tournament that Irwin won), that brings back a lot of fond memories. At the same time, I’m not one that gets hung up in the history and what used to be. I’m more, ‘what can I do today?’ That’s kind of what drives my life now. I have a lot of history and a lot of it is great, but I don’t live my life in the past. I want to live my life in the present and the future.”

— Irwin, on the 15-over-par 85 he shot in the second round of the Senior Open at The Broadmoor:

It was “the worst round I’ve ever had as a professional.”

— Colorado PGA professionals Doug Rohrbaugh, on having the honor to hit the first tee shot at the 2018 U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs:

“That was on my mind, it was. That’s kind of a cool deal to kick the thing off. I had my mom and dad sitting there, and a bunch of friends. I’m not going to lie — it kind of got to me a little. I got a little emotional about it.”

— U.S. Senior Open competitor Jerry Kelly, on jokingly being asked by fellow University of Hartford alum Tim Petrovic if he attended the school:

“I went to the school. I just didn’t go to class.”

— Russ Miller, director of golf at The Broadmoor, on the U.S. Senior Open there attracting 134,500 fans for the week:

“It’s amazing how well Colorado supports these things. It’s been proven over and over and over. That’s exciting.”

— AJ Ott of Fort Collins, on qualifying for the U.S. Amateur that was hosted by Pebble Beach:

“We grew up playing Pebble on the Wii and the Tiger Woods (video games) and stuff like that. That was always everyone’s favorite course. It will be really fun.”

— Tiffany Maurycy, after needing 20 holes in the title match to win the CGA Women’s Senior Match Play:

“I’m over the moon. I’ve now won state championships in New York, Vermont and Colorado. It’s a real feather in my cap. My dad is a golf pro and I come from a golfing family. This is a big deal, there’s no doubt. … This is it. I can’t believe that I won.”

— Guy Mertz, on rallying to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur for a second straight year:

“I guess it proves last year wasn’t a fluke. Two years in a row; it can’t be a fluke, can it? Maybe I’m decent.”

— Georgene McGonagle, who captained the Colorado Girls Junior Americas Cup team for four straight years in the 1980s, on the importance of the event, which this year was held at Hiwan Golf Club in Evergreen:

“I think this is probably one of the most wonderful things for young girls for their development. It’s something they’re going to remember the rest of their lives. They have to work with lots of other people. They learn the pressure of competition, which will suit them for any realm the rest of their life. (The GJAC) has to go on forever because it’s so meaningful and important for the development of those kids.”

— Dru Love, on what his father, World Golf Hall of Famer Davis Love III, told him over the phone before Dru won the CoBank Colorado Open in a playoff:

“He gave me some advice. He’s been in a lot of playoffs. He’s won a lot of them and lost a lot of them so he knows what he’s doing. He gave me some good advice. He just told me to get back my contact, get some confidence back and go beat ’em. Take ’em down. I went to the range and did what he told me. And under that much pressure I didn’t hit a single bad shot in the playoff.”

— Kyler Dunkle, on winning the CGA Amateur:

“To have my name on the trophy with a lot of other really good players (including Hale Irwin, Steve Jones, Brandt Jobe, Bob Byman and Wyndham Clark), that will be a cool thing. Growing up in Colorado, this is the tournament that a lot of people want to win. This is where all the best players in the state play.”

— Kristine Franklin after winning the CGA Women’s Senior Stroke Play while her dad George Hoos was battling leukemia:

“I really wanted to do this for my dad. I just can’t wait to tell my dad (about winning). I get so much joy from watching my kids play. I didn’t realize that back when I played that my parents got that much joy.”

— World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, on playing a round of golf at The Broadmoor with First Tee members from around the nation:

“The thing I do with my foundation is I tell people there’s no other sport like golf where you have great ambassadors like these young kids. These are the next generation of leaders or influencers — or whatever you want to call them. It’s so cool that they play golf. I think we really need to take advantage of these opportunities. I love being part of it — to see how focused these young kids are. I think they inspire me as much as hopefully I inspire them.”

— Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Janet Moore, on qualifying for her 28th USGA national championship:

“Which is really impressive until you hear Carol Semple Thompson’s 100-plus. Then it’s like, ‘Oh.’ I remember somebody said, ‘Janet, that’s so good.’ Then you go to the players’ dinner (at USGA events) and there’s 70, 80 and (Semple Thompson’s 100-plus). It’s a different league. There’s a whole different realm out there.”

— Patrick Reidy, on winning the Colorado PGA Professional Chamionship:

“Other than playing golf at (the University of Colorado in the mid-1980s), this is hands down the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished in my golfing career. It’s great, seriously. It’s unexpected to be even having this conversation to be honest with you. To actually hold this (trophy) right now is absolutely crazy. It’s bringing tears to my eyes.”

— Robert Polk, chairman of the CGA Tournament Committee, on winning the CGA Senior Amateur at age 63:

“I’ve handed out trophies way too many times. I wanted to win. That was always painful. The older I get, the winning is wonderful but it means you didn’t lose. I take losing so much harder now, and I lose obviously a lot more than I win. It takes me a while to get over it. I think, ‘I left so many shots out there.’ You’d think I wouldn’t take it so hard. But to get it done is very exciting.”

— Sandra Young, on teaming with Louise Lyle to win the CGA Women’s Dunham Chapman Championship:

“It’s amazing. I’ve won a few smaller things, but not a state event. … I’m ready to pass out.”

— Kyle Danford, on pairing with David Johnson to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship:

“My wife is happy because the other three USGA events I’ve qualified for, she’s been pregnant. Now we’ve broken that little schneid so she doesn’t have to get pregnant any more for me to go to a USGA event.”

— Coloradan Jim Knous on qualifying for the PGA Tour by earning the last available card through the Tour Finals:

“It was a brutal day emotionally. I wasn’t quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That’s pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.”

— Jack Nicklaus on Colorado Sports Hall of Famer and International founder Jack Vickers, who passed away in September:

“Jack was someone who cared deeply about the history and the traditions of the game of golf, and wanted to protect them for the future. Jack was always a huge supporter of the game — whether it was in Colorado or nationwide; whether it was the game played at the highest level or his support of grassroots programs. Simply put, Jack Vickers was very good for the game of golf. Jack was a good man, and very well-liked by all. Jack always handled himself incredibly well, and always with integrity. He was a very good man, and I’m blessed to say he was my friend.”

— Fifteen-year-old Armando Duarte, a caddie for the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy:

“Before I started (caddying), I never knew anything about golf. I thought golf was the most boring sport ever. Now, I’m back to playing it. I tried out for my high school team. I didn’t make it but I’m still playing. I think it’s a great thing to do. I got all that from caddying.”

— 2018 CGA Mid-Amateur champion Jared Reid, on being paired in the final round with Jon Lindstrom and Chris Thayer, who have won the championship five times between them:

“Teeing off with those two and they’re announcing all the times they’ve won the championship and runner-ups and everything like that. I’m like, ‘Geez, how am I going to do this today? Hopefully I get out of their way most of the time.'”

— 3A boys state high school champion Jackson Klutznick (pictured, with Bob Austin), on what his one-time tennis coach told him that led to him giving up high-level competitive tennis in favor of golf:

“He told me that when I’m playing tennis, I need to be hating the person on the other side of the net. I came down to the decision, I didn’t want to do that. That’s not me. In golf, you’re telling (your playing partners) they hit a great shot or an awesome putt. You’re not trying to bring them down. I thought that was a much more positive mindset to be in than trying to hate the person I’m playing against.”

— Colorado State University men’s golf coach Christian Newton on the 67 CSU freshman Oscar Teiffel shot at Colorado Golf Club in brutal weather conditions to win the individual title at the Paintbrush Invitational:

“That’s the best competitive round I’ve ever seen — under pressure, playing for the lead, shoot 67 in blowing snow and 35 degrees. That’s as good as I’ve ever seen.”

— Hale Irwin, a design advisor during the redesign and construction project at City Park Golf Course in Denver, after visiting the site in the fall:

“It is exciting to physically see the progress being made on the City Park Golf Course project. When completed, this will not only be a place for us all to enjoy now, it will be a place we would encourage our children to come and play golf. This project is a legacy for the future.”

— Former Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Kevin Stadler, a part-time Denver resident, on returning to the PGA Tour after a three-plus-year absence due to a hand injury:

“The whole thing was a mess. I was told it was a stress fracture. A year later I was told it was fully healed, but it kept getting worse. I stopped after having about 6-8 MRIs on it. They told me it was healed for nine months in a row and I was still having pain. They couldn’t find the answer for it. The pain finally got back to day 1 excruciating last summer (in 2017). I was told it was 75 percent broken. I’d seen six different hand surgeons — and they’re all in major league baseball. I had two out of maybe six or seven guys tell me I needed surgery initially and the other guys said not to. But it’s doing great now. I just need to figure out how to get the game back in working order.”

— Lauren Howe, on her reaction to being voted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame:

“In the back of my mind, I knew it could be coming. And yet it still hit me … I’m tearing up now. It’s just so precious to me, especially having not played in a while and everything. It really hit me like a big wave.”

— Coloradan Jennifer Kupcho, on finishing second at the LPGA Q-Series and qualifying for an LPGA Tour card once she graduates from Wake Forest in May:

“I’ve been shooting for this goal for so long that it’s awesome to just be able to go back to school knowing that I have what I’m going to do after college already in the bank.”

— CGA executive director — and USGA Rules of Golf Committee member — Ed Mate, regarding the Rules changes:

“I used to say to people who were not rules experts and would say, ‘I’ve got reasonably good common sense,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s not going to help you'” understand the rules. “It doesn’t help you. There was ‘rules common sense’, and once you became a rules expert and understood the philosophy behind it then common sense in that context would work for you. But unless you understood this, it didn’t help you. Now (with the changes), if you just have common sense, they make more sense — if that makes sense.”

— Rules official Bob Austin, on how he and his wife Christie, a former chairperson of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee, enjoy studying about the Rules:

“Christie and I both joke about it. When we’re both studying for rules, we both have decision books on our bedside table. That’s sort of the standard joke with our rules officials. (Christie and I) will talk about situations that come up. She’ll ask me what I learned today. We actually talk about (the rules) a reasonable amount. As a past chairman of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee, she has a great knowledge also. Every time we take the test together, we have a little bit of a friendly (competition). I hope she gets 100, but we certainly have a friendly rivalry about it. She’s academically smarter than I am, and it drives me crazy because I work a lot harder at it that she does. But she can get to the same level as I am in less time. It drives me crazy, but I’m proud of her for it.”

— Tiger Woods, recalling one of his more memorable holes-in-one, at the 1998 International: “TV crews here have to take a mandatory union break, and it was on No. 7 at Castle Pines. I hooped it. They showed me on the sixth green, take the union break. I hoop it on 7. They catch me up on the eighth fairway, par-5 up the hill. So that was probably one of the more funny ones, because it went in the hole on the fly and tore up the cup.”

— Former CWGA executive director Laura Robinson, who worked for the CGA this year, on retiring from the golf business:

“This has been the most rewarding three years of my career. I had to pull knowledge from every aspect of all my experience together — from accounting and finance, employment law, human resources, marketing, customer service (and) operations in order the lead the CWGA, then to integrate the two associations (the CGA and the CWGA). I think I’ve been very, very lucky to have this as the capstone to my career. It’s been so much fun.

— Paul Lobato, PGA head professional at Meridian Golf Club, on the retirement of longtime CGA director of course rating and handicapping Gerry Brown:

“Gerry is a golf pro’s best friend.”.

— New CGA president Janene Guzowski, on her impression of women taking more leadership roles in Colorado golf:

“It’s a phenomenon, and to me it represents what happened last year with the historic merger of the CGA and the CWGA. Women are coming forward and people are giving us a chance to show everybody what we can do with golf in Colorado. It’s not strictly a man’s world anymore with golf or anything else for that matter. For us it’s an amazing growth and coming together in Colorado golf.”

— Colorado Golf Hall of Fame inductee and PGA Master Professional Danny Harvanek, who was the first PGA head professional at Bear Creek Golf Club, has earned the Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year honor three times, has received an award from the CGA for outstanding contributions to amateur golf, has authored eight golf books, has earned the PGA of America’s national Junior Golf Leader award and who planted the seeds that led to the highly successful Colorado PGA Golf in Schools program:

It’s been “a Walter Mitty life.”

And now, it’s on to 2019. …