The highly popular Latin Invitational Golf Tournament held at the Trinidad Municipal Golf Course on June 8-9, with 124 players in the field, is celebrating its 43rd year. This one was won convincingly by the tandem of Eric Dominguez and David Baca.
The duo, sporting a three handicap, captured their second Latin tourney to tap on to second and third place finishes in the past four years. This was their fourth year of partnering up. This time they bested the Sisneros brothers, Carlos and Sam, also playing with a three handicap, by three strokes.
Only the first flight was handicapped in the two-day scramble format. It was a good weekend for all, marred only by a blustery, winter-like weather system early in the morning round on Sunday.
“We played really well on Saturday,” said Dominguez. “Dave and I got off the tee really solidly. We shot 11 under, but had a harder time scoring today. We made a lot of six to seven foot putts to make some pars, but overall we hammed and egged it well in the final round.”
Baca mirrored his partner’s comments in a post match interview. “We had a lot of par saves today,” added Baca. “There was never a lot of pressure on us this weekend. We played as well as you can as partners. It’s good to win another one. Yesterday we couldn’t do anything wrong. We made two eagles on the back side. Today was a little tougher. The golf course is in good shape as always. I would hit a putt to line up Eric, and he made them.”
The Sisneros boys thought they teamed up well over the weekend too. “We kind of hammed and egged it out there today (Sunday), mused Carlos. “Sam was really good off the tee this weekend. We got together for this tournament on the spur of the moment. We haven’t played too much golf for the past few years. It was a real good bonding weekend with my brother.”
“It feels good to be back home,” added younger brother Sam. “We’ve been gone for the past four years. It was a good weekend for us to play and be around a lot of old good friends.”
Orace Vallejos, who took over the reigns of the Latin tourney from brother Jack five years ago, was reminiscent. The tournaments inception involved a small group of players who went out and played for day money on weekends. As the group grew, so noted Orace, it was decided by Jack to approach the golf board to request a formal Latin Golf Tournament, 43 years ago.
For the graduating seniors of Trinidad and Las Animas County, it just doesn’t get any better.
“It was just another fantastic tournament,” explained Orace. “It was a real successful weekend. It is great for our Trinidad kids with our scholarships. We work diligently to help them with their education. This year we earned around $14,000 for the kids. We’ve made as much as $26,000 for all the county kids in the past. And I can’t say enough about Franklin (Azar). He continues to help us. He still calls Trinidad his home. All the local sponsors who assist us every year are also very much appreciated for also supporting us for the past 40 years.
“Also, a special thank you to Jack and his wife Georgann for keeping this tournament running for all that time. The reason I appreciate them so much is because, when I took it over five years ago, I now fully understand now how it goes. It’s nothing but a lot of hard work. It takes five months to get ready for play. And with this goes a special thanks to all our committee for all that they do, and a particular thanks to my wife Marilyn who works as hard as anybody to make the tournament special and successful.”
Latin Invitational Championship
1st – Eric Dominguez-David Baca 61-69-124 (net)
2nd – Carlos Sisneros-Sam Sisneros 68-65-127 (net)
3rd – Brooke Lucero-Joe Siegal 66-71-131 (net)
1st – Kevin Apache-Gerald Duran 68-67-135
2nd – Dean Duran-Ray Luna 68-70-138
3rd – Scott Sandlin-Mike Hinkle 67-73-140
1st – Jack Vallejos-Billy Gallegos 75-67-142
2nd – Javier Martinez-Lori Navarette 73-78-143
3rd – Ryan Coberly-Eric Coberly 73-71-144
1st – Ken Gegleman-Chachi Gegelman 76-74-150
2nd – Reuben Tenorio-Robert Lawrence 76-75-151
3rd – Joey Tortorice-Dean Ferraro 76-80-156
1st – Jeremy Maldonado-Brandon Espinoza 76-76-152
2nd – Joey DeGarbo-Berna DiGarbo 76-82-158
3rd – Henry Salazar-Joey Salazar 75-84-159
1st – Carlos Chacon-Fred Vaugois 84-80-164
2nd – Jake Lamden-Linda Lamden 83-83-166
3rd – Leroy Martinez-Steve Martinez 84-88-172