By David Plati
University of Colorado alum David Oraee captured the 61st Tyrrell Wyoming State Open in Cheyenne Sunday with an impressive 15-under par performance for his first win as a professional.
Oraee, who lettered four times for the Buffaloes and graduated in 2015, practically led from start-to-finish in recording a 63-65-67—195 performance to win by three strokes over another CU alum, Ben Portie, on the 6,424-yard, par-70 Airport Golf Club course layout.
Oraee entered the final round with a four-shot lead but no one could get closer than two strokes, and that was for a very brief period of time. In hitting 46 of 54 greens on the weekend, and with just two three-putts (one of which was just off the green from 50 feet away), he earned $7,000 for the victory.
“It feels good to break through,” Oraee said. “I played a lot last year and it just seemed like I couldn’t piece together a whole tournament. I’d play good at times but then sort of lackadaisical at others. I worked hard to get more consistent, and it paid off today. All aspects of my game came together.
“It was a pretty rough start (Sunday); the first few holes are pretty easy and I’m seeing everyone else making birdies but I couldn’t get anything to drop early on,” he added. “So I really had even more opportunities for a lower score had some of those putts had fallen.”
Oraee, who holds CU’s low 36-hole score at 13-under 131 (64-67), shot his first-sub 200 score for 54 holes in his competitive career. As a junior, he a 200 in an AJGA event in Aspen. His low 54-hole score as a Buff was a 205, ironically in the University of Wyoming’s Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale as a junior.
The aspiring cardiologist has applied to medical schools and plans on matriculating in the fall of 2018.
Two current Buffaloes also participated, as sophomore Ross Macdonald finished as the third low amateur with a 69-69-70—208 scorecard (2-under), which tied him for 24th overall. Wyoming senior Glenn Workman captured honors with an 8-under 202 score. Senior Kade Crossland was the seventh low amateur with a 73-68-74—215 effort.
Five different CU graduates have now won the Wyoming Open: Tim Brauch (1981), Larry Webb (1986-87), Tom Woodard (1993), Kane Webber (2006-11-16) and Oraee.