May 29, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorNick Travers will always remember the 2012 Saltwater Classic as his first pro golf victory.
Travers opened the 54-hole tournament at the Riverton Country Club with back-to-back 67s on the first two days.
Travers, from Phoenix, held off the rest of the field on Monday shooting a 73 for his three-day total of 207, and a two-stroke victory. The par for the Riverton course is 72. Travers completed the tournament nine under par for the $5,000 top prize.
He sealed the victory with back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and No. 15.
"It's a relief to win my first pro event," Travers said. "I just hung in there at the end," Travers said. "I hit some good shots and made a couple of birdies at the end."
Players endured rain and cold both Saturday and Sunday.
The Saltwater was delayed 45 minutes in the morning because of frost delay on Monday. The final golfers didn't finish until 7:30 p.m.
"The weather conditions the first two days were tough," Riverton Country Club golf pro Steve Johnson said. "To go out and shot a 67 the first two days was pretty amazing."
Travers had been to the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Saltwater tournaments but had never been in the running for the top spot before.
"These guys are one step away from the guys that we are watching on television every week," Johnson said. "Learning how to win is the toughest part about making golf your living."
Travers first attended the Saltwater when his friend, former Lander Valley High School golfer Ashdon Woods, told him about the tournament.
Brad Besler, Jeff Franks and Zac Blair finished in a three-way tie for second place at 209.
"These guys have to learn how to perform in the final day under pressure," Johnson said.
Besler had rounds of 70-72-67, while Franks registered scores of 73-71-65. Blair shot scores of 67-70-72--209.
Franks is a former University of Wyoming golfer. He now lives in Steamboat, Colo.
"I played good today (Monday)," Franks said. "This is a golf course that I have been playing the last six years. I just wanted to play solid, and I felt comfortable out there."
Franks finished his final round connecting for a birdie at No. 18.
"I was pretty happy with the finish," Franks said. "I will come up here for life, because it's a great tournament."
Pro results -- Saltwater Classic
Nick Travers, 67-67-73--207; Brad Besler, 70-72-67--209; Jeff Franks, 73-71-65--209; Zac Blair, 67-70-72--209; Todd Tanner, 74-65-71--210; Derek Tolan, 69-71-71--211; Matt Rutledge, 71-69-71--211, Justin Keiley, 71-71-69--209; Todd Tanner, 74-65-71--210; Matt Rutledge, 71-69-71--211; Scott Petersen, 72-70-70--212; Andy Connell, 69-72-72--213; Eric Benjamin, 71-70-74--215; Riley Andrews, 74-70-71--215; Luke Symons, 69-73-74--216; Steve Schneiter, 73-74-69--216; Tom Gempel, 71-74-74--219; Klinton Krieger, 72-73-75--220; Brian Spiva, 72-76-73--221; Dustin Mills, 70-72-79--221; Aaron Johnson, 76-72--74--222; Michael May, 73-77-72--222; Gabriel Alcala, 73-75-75--223; Tyler Watts, 77-74-73--224.
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