Ute Mountain Oil Classic attracts 200 golfers to Conquistador

Keenan Ertel reacts as Bruce Smart just misses landing a golf ball in a raft in the middle of a pond for an automatic eagle on the 11th hole during the Lucas Oil Golf Tournament at Conquistador Golf Course. At left is Cindy Smart. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Keenan Ertel reacts as Bruce Smart just misses landing a golf ball in a raft in the middle of a pond for an automatic eagle on the 11th hole during the Lucas Oil Golf Tournament at Conquistador Golf Course. At left is Cindy Smart.

Year in and year out, the Ute Mountain Oil Classic Golf Tournament features many impressive golf shots. What make the event special, are its people, its atmosphere and its cause.

Hard-working individuals

Among the individuals who competed in this year’s Classic, which was held Aug. 2 at Conquistador Golf Course, Brian Inman was typical.

A decent golfer who relished the opportunity to play a round of golf with friends, Inman followed most of his shots with a chuckle and a smile.

Employed by M&J Valve Services, the Farmington resident explained that the hard-working individuals who play in the Classic make the tournament what it is.

“It’s a good group to come out here with,” said Inman. Everybody is laid back. It’s not too serious, but it’s just serious enough.

Echoing Inman’s comments, Rodney Archibeque explained that the camaraderie that exists between hard-working oil field workers is always evident at the Classic.

“Everybody seems to get along,” said Archibeque. “It’s a nice place and everybody that’s out here is real friendly.”

Finishing first in this year’s tournament were Dominique Johnson, Tommy Barber, Steven Gray and Yoshi Okano, who together, shot an impressive 18-hole score of 55.

Fun highlights make Classic

In addition to featuring solid people, the Classic’s fun-filled environment made this year’s tournament what it was.

Helping to shape that environment was a raft placed in the pond on the 11th hole, which, if chipped into, resulted in an automatic eagle.

Also contributing to the fun was a competition on the seventh hole, which rewarded the first individual to hit a hole-in-one with a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro donated by Steve Keeth Motors.

While no golfer won the car at this year’s Classic, several competitors raved about the tournament’s food and environment.

“The pork chops, the brisket, the activities, it’s all good,” said Archibeque. “We really enjoy it.”

Tournament benefits good cause

Further solidifying the Classic as a top-notch event was the fact that the tournament donated 10,000 to the Shriner’s children’s hospital.

Facilitated by the Escalante Club, the donation will be used to help families with sick children cover travel and lodging expenses.

“It’s a great cause,” said tournament organizer Randy Curtis. “I’m thankful that we are able to put this tournament on.”