Dean Duran and Scott Monarco are first time champions of the 44th Annual Latin Golf Tournament held at the Trinidad Municipal Golf Course last Saturday and Sunday Labor Day Weekend. The tourney, usually held in early June, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 virus may have limited the gallery, but Tournament Director Orace Vallejos reported a full field of players competed.  It was a great weather weekend to play golf and mix with old friends, and it was even better for the numerous high school graduates from Las Animas County who  will benefit from the scholarships that will be awarded later this fall.

“We were able to get people to come and play in our 44th Annual Tournament after it was moved from June to September,” explained Vallejos. “We were short of sponsors this year because of  COVID-19, but we were still able to make enough for a significant number of scholarships. It was not as much due to fewer contributions, but most importantly a lot of kids will be helped with their school finances. It was a fun tournament. Everybody had a good time for a good cause.”

Duran and Monarco did just that. Have fun that is. The duo teamed for a 58-61 to edge out Bill Shroeder and J.J. Vallejos by a single stroke. The tournament featured a two-man scramble for two days of play (36 holes). All flights were handicapped. Tom Schultz and Bubba Tapia placed third, just a single stroke behind the second place team.

“This was the first time I’ve played in this tournament,” said Monarco. “We hit the ball off the tee really well, and Dean putted well.  I really enjoyed playing with him. We’ve been friends for a long time. I played with Dean for the first time this weekend and it was well worth it.  We had a good time. I love coming back to my old home town.”

Duran, elated by winning the championship, mirrored some of his partner’s comments. “We just had a good time playing together for two days.  We were able to win in spite of scoring two bogies both days, but we started today (Sunday) with an eagle on one.  We tried to play together for several years and never could do it.  This weekend, and our win, was eventful.”

Tournament tidbits

Vallejos concluded his interview with The Chronicle-News by expressing his gratitude to numerous individuals who assisted him with the tournament. “I would to thank Yvette Vialpando who catered a great dinner on Saturday and the entire ground crew who manicured our course, and Jeff Monarco and his crew who manage the pro shop,” explained Vallejos. My Latin Committee, Carlos Chacon, Reuben Tenario, Marilyn Vallejos, Rick and Regina Torres, Dick Makloski, Brett Plant, and Tanya Valdez always work hard. Without them we couldn’t have our tournament. And special kudos to all our sponsors that were able to help.”

I cannot recall any tournament held in Trinidad in which two holes-in-one were carded on the final round on the same day. On Sunday, Brooke Lucero, wielding her trusty seven iron on hole number seven, canned her first ever. Dean Duran hit an eight iron on hole five for his third.  Playing with Lucero were Reuben Tenario, Chris Baca, and Joe Martinez. “I hit the ball a little right about 15 feet short and it rolled right in,” said Lucero. “It was my first. It was hard to believe at first. I’ve hit a lot of balls close, like about six inches, but this one went in.”

“It was a little windy when I hit the ball,” added Duran, “but it was one of the better shots I’ve ever hit. I’ve had two before, but this one was the first I’ve ever seen go in. Dick and Rusty Makloski, Orace Vallejos, Kelly Ridolfi, Brooke Lucero, and Cameron Cummings were all there to see it too.”

Back on Sunday, August 30, Greens keeper Guido Pachelli used his seven iron on the 165 yard par three number 14. Amazingly, it was his seventh ace. “I hit my seven iron well,” Pachelli explained. “The ball checked and I thought it was going to go behind the pin, but it went in.  Most importantly, I would like to thank the crew that works for us; Dave Holman, Mike Ridolfi, and Sean Maes. They work awfully hard for me and the golf course. This course is in excellent shape because of those guys.” Witnessing Pachelli’s seventh were Gordo Terry, Berna and Joey DiGarbo, and Sean Maes.

Tournament winners

Championship Flight:

1st – D. Duran-Scott Monarco            64-66-119

2nd – B. Schroder-J.J. Vallejos        59-61-120

3rd – T. Schultz-B. Tapia            62-59-121

First Flight:

1st – C. Armijo-D. Laner            64-69-131

2nd – R. Coberly-D. Coberly            66-68-134

3rd – R. Tenario-B. Lucero            66-69-135

Second Flight:

1st – R. Carter-G. Svboda            73-65-138

2nd – M. Ridolfi-C. Cummings        70-73-143

3rd – O. Vallejos-K. Trinkus            74-73-145

Third Flight:

1st – D. Lee-L. Mauch                71-74-145

2nd – K. Trujillo-D. Bachicha            80-73-153*

3rd – B. Mares-J. Gonzales            76-77-153

Fourth Flight:

1st – J. Sombrano-J. Sombrano Jr.        76-78-154

2nd – L. Lambden-B. Felthager        78-81-159

3rd – H. Mares-R. Montoya            83-79-162

Fifth Flight:

1st – G. Maglia-G. Hinkle            76-80-156

2nd – T. Valdez-T. Tefertiller            79-83-162            

3rd – M. Campbell-N. Campbell        80-85-165

*Won card playoff

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