Boucher, Simms win city golf titles

By the time the storm clouds had parted Sunday, Steamboat Springs had two new citywide golf champions.

Butch Boucher took the men's title in the Combined Club Championship from five-time winner Steve Dodson with a 189 on 45 holes. Barb Simms won the women's title with a 234.

Boucher said he was able to overcome some slight bobbles over the three-day period and pull away from Dodson in the top flight with a strong nine holes on the final day. Dodson finished second at 194 and Kip Tirone placed third with a total of 202.

"It was great playing with him all three days," Boucher said. "He beat me last year, but his putts were not falling this time around and that was the difference."

Boucher said the change in the tournament this year from the 9-hole Steamboat Golf Club to the 18-hole Catamount Ranch & Club also helped his bid to beat the repeat champion.

"I hit the ball a little longer," Boucher said. "Steve isn't as long, but he is more accurate than me. I think he was a little better at the Steamboat Golf Club, which is tighter. I'm a little better at Catamount where I can go longer."

Boucher shot a 76 on the opening day at Catamount and then came back with a 77 at the Sheraton on Saturday. Heavy rains threatened to end the tournament early Sunday, but the sun returned in the afternoon and the golfers were able to squeeze in nine holes before dark.

"The weather was terrible," said Tim Fuhrer, tournament coordinator. "But this is an outdoor sport. The courses were in great shape and we were able to get most of the holes in after the rain."

Barb Simms was happy the weather improved in the afternoon as she took advantage of the final holes to move past Jan Boggs to win the overall title.

"I knew I only had nine holes left to make a move, so I went for it," Simms said. "Haymaker is my home course, so I felt pretty comfortable there."

Simms barely took the lead from Jan Boggs in the final three-hole stretch of the tournament. Boggs was second at 236.

"I've only been playing golf for three years, so I think some of the other women were impressed that I was at the top," Simms said. "The other golfers (in the championship flight) have been my idols for so long. I've always wanted to play golf like Paula Stephenson."

Stephenson, who has won the tournament the past two years, did not break into the top three in the final standings this year.

"The flight winners of this year's tournament really earned it," Haymaker pro Hank Franks said. "The weather didn't cooperate, but it was a great tournament just the same. We had a great field of golfers and this is becoming one of the best tournaments of the season."

The Steamboat Combined Club Championships drew 90 men and 16 women from all four courses. The women played in two flights and the men competed in six flights.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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