Garver reclaims crown

Cortez native amateur golfer wins 2nd Pinto Bean Classic in 3 years

Danny Richelieu hits a shot from the No. 11 fairway Saturday during the Pinto Bean Classic at Conquistador Golf Course. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Danny Richelieu hits a shot from the No. 11 fairway Saturday during the Pinto Bean Classic at Conquistador Golf Course.

One stroke.

The was what kept Curtis Garver from repeating as Pinto Bean Classic champion in 2011.

It was a frustrating end result, as it often is in golf. To play so well, so consistent. But the slightest hiccup is the difference from holding a trophy and hearing the phrases “tough break” and “nice job.”

Garver had 12 months to think about his 4-Under par performance on Day 1 of the Pinto Bean Classic last year. A performance that actually was not good enough at Conquistador Golf Course. Shreve Tso claimed his third title in 2011 with a two-day gross total of 138 to Garver’s 139.

In 2012, Garver finished as he did in 2010, with a first-place trophy.

The competition was stronger at the 33rd rendition of the Pinto Bean Classic than it has been in recent years. Garver, 32, capitalized on his short game.

“It’s always good competition out here. You just play your best,” said Garver, while holding his infant daughter Mayci. “I played really well the last few days. The putter was the main reason why I won. I didn’t miss many putts inside my five- and-six-foot range. I just had a really good tournament.”

Garver shot 67 Saturday in the championship flight.

However, Dick Goeden was one better at 66. But history wasn’t about to repeat itself.

Garver kept his cool Sunday, too. He kept his ball straight over the fast Conquistador fairways. He continued to sink his putts on the crisp greens to come away with a 68.

On Sunday, Goeden succumbed to golf’s tortuous ups and downs, shooting 4-over (74).

Garver won his second Pinto Bean Classic title in four years, running away from the competition with a two-day gross of 135.

“I hit a really straight drive and it was working for me,” he said. “While most people are hitting iron shots in, I’m chipping and putting, so that definitely helps. I had fun.”

Garver joins the ranks of winning the Pinto Bean Classic multiple times. Still, he knows he was a stroke away from possibly winning three straight titles. Garver remains hungry to keep winning.

“Hopefully, next year, I can repeat as a back-to-back champion. I’m going to work on that next,” he said.

Garver will be back to defend his crown in 2013. Many of the 244 golfers will return as well to the largest amateur tournament in the Four Corners.

Midland Bean Co. remains the tournament sponsor since the first tourney in 1979. Jack and Rodney Tanner are the Pinto Bean Classic chairmen. Not much has changed in 33 years and that’s the way the Tanners intend to keep it.

“It’s all tradition,” said Jack Tanner’s wife, Terry, who’s in charge of registration and score keeping. “If you have a winning combination, how can you fix it? It’s just a fun event. We’re very lucky to have a good combination.”

The 34th annual Pinto Bean Classic is next August.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

Jason Tsosie chips Saturday at Conquistador Golf Course in the 33rd annual Pinto Bean Golf Classic. Enlargephoto

sam green/cortez journal

Jason Tsosie chips Saturday at Conquistador Golf Course in the 33rd annual Pinto Bean Golf Classic.