The 24th Parker Open went down to the wire and beyond. Alex Cejka and Ed Olson both finished with a 14 under par score of 202 for the three-day tournament, and were in a tie for first place. Cejka came from six holes behind to tie Olson. He went four under par for the last six holes, including a hole-in-one. Cejka won the tournament on a sudden death playoff and took him $7,000 in prize money.
Olson placed second and took home $4,000. Coming in third with a 12 under par 204 for the event was Nick Mason. He received $3,000.
The event was held April 24-26 at the Emerald Canyon Golf Course north of Parker.
Emerald Canyon’s Director, Steve Benton, said there were a total of 120 golfers in the tournament. He also responded to comments against holding the tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.
Benton said the 120 players for the tournament was actually a quiet weekend compared to what they’ve had in recent weekends at Emerald Canyon. He noted golf courses in California are closed, and, given Parker’s proximity to the California State Line, golfers from California have been coming to Emerald Canyon to play.
“We’ve been averaging more than 200 players per day on weekends,” he said.
Benton said that, if anything, the tournament was keeping the California golfers away for one weekend.
The BlueWater Resort & Casino had been a major sponsor for the event, but they weren’t this year because they are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus. Arrangements were made for players to stay at the Quality Inn, Best Western and Hampton Inn motels.
Sponsors for this year’s event include Parker Elks Lodge BPOE 1929, Sundance Saloon, Havasu Springs Resort, Fox’s Floating Dock Bar, Pirate’s Den Resort & Marina, Road Runner Bar & Grill, Romer Beverage, Colorado River Sewage System Joint Venture, Simplot Partners and Desert Golf Carts.
On Emerald Canyon’s Facebook page and the course website, the staff said the course is still open, but they are taking precautions regarding the spread of the coronavirus. These involve sanitizing carts after use, covering ball washers, and practicing proper social distancing. They are also requesting people not remove flags from the holes and to not come to the course if they aren’t feeling well or have a cough.