By Gary Baines
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (May 15, 2011) -- Two veterans of cold-weather golf were in their element during Sunday’s final round of the CGA Four-Ball Championship at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster.
Danny Riskam of Columbine Country Club and Pete Mangold of Cherry Creek Country Club (pictured) played college golf in less-than-ideal conditions at Northwestern and Army, respectively, so they seemed to feel right at home in Sunday’s temperatures, which hovered in the 35-40-degree range.
The result was that the pair rallied from a three-stroke deficit to win the Four-Ball title by one shot.
“This was Army golf out there today -- 35-40 degrees and rain,” said Mangold, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “You just grind it out. I would say easily we had a much better attitude than any team out there. I think that’s the thing that won it for us.”
Riskam, a former mini-tour player, and Mangold followed up a best-ball 64 in cool conditions on Saturday with a 3-under-par 68 in the final round. That gave them an 11-under-par 202 total, which was one better than first- and second-day leaders James Kurtenbach and Tim Fitzgerald, who closed with a 72. Kurtenbach and Fitzgerald could have forced a playoff with a par on their final hole, but both players made bogey on the par-4 ninth and had to settle for second place.
Brian Richmeier and Andrew Dannewitz, both of Meadow Hills, finished third at 204.
In the senior division of the first CGA championship of the year, Keith Masters and John Applegate of Meadow Hills (pictured at left) defeated Ken Sady and Harry Johnson of Eagle Ranch in a two-hole playoff to win the title after the two teams matched scores each day -- 66-69-68 for a 10-under 203 total. Applegate got up and down from a greenside bunker, making a 4-foot birdie putt at the par-5 11th hole for the victory.
It was the first CGA titles for all four of the winners on Sunday, when bone-chilling cold made playing good golf a big challenge.
“It was kind of a war of attrition with this weather,” said Riskam, who was reinstated as an amateur in 2007 after his years as a pro. “It snowed on the way in here this morning. I played so much golf like this at Northwestern that it kind of made me feel like I was back in college. Springtime in Chicago is 40 and sleet.
“It’s important on days like this not to get ahead of yourself. We tried to stay positive, stay patient and not force the issue. To be honest, I didn’t think we’d win at 202 … but we’re just thrilled.”
Riskam, the runner-up in last year’s CGA Mid-Amateur, helped the team’s cause greatly by shooting 71-66-71 on his own ball. (“Given the weather conditions, that might be some of the best three days of golf I’ve ever played,” he said. “Shooting 208 this week is something I’ll remember for long time.”) And Mangold chipped in enough birdies to get the team over the top. Riskam and Mangold carded just two bogeys in 36 holes.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad result considering the Four-Ball marked Mangold’s first CGA event ever.
“Looking at Danny, I said, ‘I guess I just signed myself up for some more,’” Mangold noted.
Mangold, now a 30-year-old investment advisor, has an interesting background, both in and out of golf. During his five-year stint in the Army, he served a tour of duty in Iraq -- where the temperatures were a sharp contrast to Sunday’s -- and he represented the U.S. Army while competing in military golf tournaments both nationally and internationally.
As for Riskam, he’s a former college teammate of Luke Donald, currently the No. 3-ranked player in the world.
“I stay in touch with (Donald) a little, but we run in different circles,” Riskam said. “I hang out with Pete Mangold and he hangs out with Davis Love.”
After years of trying to hammer out a living as a competitive golfer, Riskam is much happier these days as a co-owner of an advertising agency who likes to dabble at high-level amateur golf.
“It’s so much easier to play golf for a trophy than a check,” the 32-year-old said. “If we hadn’t won today, I still have to put together a bassinet tonight (for a baby due to arrive in three weeks). It takes a lot of the pressure out of it when your livelihood doesn’t depend on it.”
View results for Colorado Four-Ball Golf Tournament