25 Highlights in 25 Weeks: Highlight #8 – The Club Champions

Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf turns 25 on July 12, 2024! To celebrate, we are listing the top 25 moments in Pelican Lakes’ history. These events are not ranked and highlight the biggest events, features, and happenings at the distinguished 27-hole facility in Northern Colorado.

Blog 8 out of 25: The Champions

Most golf courses host a club championship. Some claim just a men’s champion, and others, like Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf in Windsor, CO, offer a two-day tournament for men’s, women’s, senior and junior members.

Throughout the nearly 25-year history of the course, it’s hosted 24 men’s, 21 women’s, nine senior and 10 junior events.

Of the 24 men’s tournaments, 14 different people have claimed the title as “Best at Pelican.” There have been 10 different women winners and six seniors.

The very first winner in Pelican Lakes history was Dave Janssen who shot even par (144) in 2000.

The most recent winner of the men’s champ flight is Barry O’Neill. And Barry has blown the doors off this event the past two years.

Prior to Barry’s introduction to the club, only one member has finished the two-day event under par. (Ed Kerr won the 2001 championship with a 4-under-par weekend of 140.)

In 2023, Barry smoked the field with rounds of 65-66 (13-under) to win the 11-person field by 15 strokes over runner-up Brett Krantz.

“Overall, I was anxious until the very last hole so keeping a good swing tempo and slowing everything down really helped,” Barry said at the time. He also mentioned he was more nervous in 2023 because the expectations from his fellow members were that he should hold on to the trophy for the next decade.

The year before, Barry shot 75-65 (4-under) to tie Kerr’s previous record low.

Barry joins six other former or current members to have won the event more than once.

Three people have won the title three times. The first to do it was Steve McWilliams. He captured the title in 2005-06 and again in 2009.

Mike Stertz was crowned the champ in 2003-04 and 2011 and Jeff Slupe went on a nice four-year run when he was the best in 2010, 2012-13.

Three others, besides Barry, have won it twice. Brian Rubick was The Man in 2014-15, Joel Atkinson in 2018-19 and Dan Pollack won in 2002 and again 15 years later in 2017.

For the women’s event, Rochelle Brotsky reigns supreme. The former University of Nebraska golfer, and native of Brookings, S.D., won six times, or 29% of the time. She first won in 2009, then again from 2011-13, and two more times in 2015-16. Her lowest two-day total is 156 (12 over) in 2012.

Ellen Butler was the first two win twice, when she claimed the 2005 and 2008 titles. Karen Gallagher has three trophies – 2007, 2010 and 2014. Nikki Moser was the champ in 2017-18, and Jessica Zapf, a former Windsor High School, and University of Wyoming golfer, was the winner in 2019 and 2021.

Karen is believed to have carded the lowest two-day total when she shot 71-68 (5-under) in 2010.

Dozens of different teens and pre-teens have captured their flights in the junior club championship.

Carter Hinkle, Macy Kleve and Gabby Krebs have won their flights more than three times.

Carter is currently a freshman on the Hastings (Neb.) College men’s golf team, and won his flight in 2015 (ages 9-10), 2017-18 (ages 11-13), 2020 and 2022 (ages 14-17).

Macy Kleve, a junior on the Windsor High School girl’s team, won titles in 2015 (ages 7-8), 2015 (12 & under), 2018 (ages 11-3) and 2019 (ages 14-17).

Gabby Krebs, a sophomore on the Lake Forest College (Chicago) women’s golf team, was the best in the club in 2015 (ages 11-13), 2020 (ages 12-17) and 2021 (ages 14-17).

The senior flight is a relatively new tradition at Pelican Lakes. Prior to its official designation in 2015, the flight crowned the lowest net finisher.

Dwain Gaalema was the first to be named the Senior Club Champion in the gross flight when he shot 87-79 (22-over) in 2015. Last year Dave “Disco” Deering set the new record with his 10-over-par rounds of 72-82. Playing from the white tee boxes, Disco had five birdies on Day 1, with four of them occurring in a five-hole stretch on the back nine (#12, #14-#16).

Steve Kannenberg won the senior title in 2018-19 and Scott Gaines in 2020 and 2022.

The 2024 event is planned for Aug. 17-18 and Barry has a chance to be the first to win the men’s event three-straight years. (No pressure, Bare!)

To view the full list of winners, check out our Club Champions list here.