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Cheyenne pro takes early Saltwater lead
Brian Spiva of Casper blasted out of the trap next to the No. 9 green during the opening round of the Saltwater Classic golf tournament at the Riverton Country Club. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Cheyenne pro takes early Saltwater lead

May 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The tournament continues Sunday and Monday at the Riverton Country Club with the final two rounds of the 54-hole tournament. The winner of the pro division gets $10,000.

Cheyenne golfer Klinton Krieger took advantage of an early morning start time Saturday by shooting a six-under 66 for the early lead in the annual Saltwater Classic.

Krieger began his 18-hole round at 8:50 a.m. at the Riverton Country Club.

The par for the Riverton course is 72. The length from the championship tees is a total of 7,082 yards.

The morning conditions were almost perfect before the wind picked up in the afternoon.

The second round is played on Sunday. The final round of the tournament is Monday.

Krieger played his college golf at Denver University.

"Klinton's dad is the head professional at Cheyenne Country Club," Riverton Country Club golf pro Steve Johnson said. "The greens were great. The wind wasn't blowing early. He made some putts."

Krieger played with Riverton golfers Tony Kenyon, Randy Williams and Peter Piplica.

"They were just really have fun together," Johnson said. "I think that was a big part of it. It was a very relaxed, fun group."

The pro winner of the tournament will receive $10,000.

"The golf course is playing tough," Johnson said. "The wind will have an effect on the afternoon scores. The greens are rolling perfect."

Pro golfers Clay Ogden and Nick Mason each finished with a 67.

Dustin Primm ended his round with a 68. Matt Rutledge scored a 69 to jump into title condition.

"Part of the reason the golf course is playing tough is there are somewhat difficult hole locations," Johnson said. "For guys that put the ball on the greens on the correct side and make a few puts, scoring is out there."

The top pro golfers on the leaderboard on Monday will tee off last.

"It's going to be really exciting the next couple of days," Johnson said.

The annual golf derby will start at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The derby is made up of the top 12 low pro scores and the top 12 low gross and net amateurs.

"It's just a really fun tournament to watch," Johnson said.

Amateur field

Utah State golfer Zach Waxler scored a 71 on his opening day total.

"Zach played steady all the way around," Johnson said. "He just made a tremendous number of pars."

After playing at Riverton High School, Waxler spent a couple of years at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington.

"College golf has taught him how to finish a round," Johnson said. "He had things going well and put the finishing touches on a really good round."

Riverton Middle School eighth-grader Easton Paxton had a 78 to start the tournament.

"Easton had a few ball-striking issues," Johnson said. "The wind picked up toward the end of the round. That got him on the last few holes."

Paxton missed a birdie putt No. 9. He started his round on No. 10.

"For a 14-year-old to have a really bad day and to be under 80 in a tournament like this, we are still really proud of him," Johnson said.

Paxton will play in the afternoon Sunday.

"We know that he has tremendous amount of learning to do," Johnson said.

"This is part of it. He finished strong."

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