Like wine, Gutierrez' golf game gets better with age
Tom Harden of Clovis just missed his birdie putt on the 13th hole Saturday during the first round of the Clovis City Golf Championship at Clovis Municipal Golf Course. CNJ photo by Eric Kluth.
Dave Gutierrez said he hasn’t played at Clovis Municipal Golf Course in seven years.
It didn’t seem to matter Saturday when he fired a 6-under-par 65 and grabbed a three-stroke lead after the first round of Clovis men’s city championship tournament.
Gutierrez, 48, blistered the front side for five birdies en route to a 30. His inability to take advantage of the par 5s on the back nine prevented the Clovis businessman from challenging the competitive course record of 62, he said.
Nonetheless, it was his best competitive round for the three-time city champ.”
“I really hit the ball well,” Gutierrez said. “I’m playing better now than the last time I played here.
“I’m like wine I guess, I keep getting better with age.”
Gutierrez was one of four players to break par in near-perfect playing conditions.
Pat Peralez is second at 68 and Ray Ortiz another stroke back at 69.
Defending champion Randy Moore of Cannon Air Force Base is tied for fifth at even-par 71.
Gutierrez said he hasn’t been able to play in the city championship recently because of commitments to other weekend tournaments.
Because the tournament is on Father’s Day weekend, he was able to play this year.
He believes holding the tournament later in the year would allow for a stronger field.
“I’d like to play against some of the younger guys,” Gutierrez said. “I like playing against them because I like playing against tough competition.”
He said players like current Clovis High standouts Gulliermo Chavez and Travis Reid and former CHS standout Jimmy Jameson had prior commitments.
Jameson holds the course record.
In other flights:
• Martin Griego, Amit Bhakta and Dave Sena are tied for the lead in the President’s Flight at 75;
• Ryan Shober shot an 80 for a one-stroke lead in the First Flight;
• Kenny Cordova leads the Second Flight with an 87.
The second and final round of the tournament is today.