Fredrik Lindblom takes on the Colorado Open and I take on the Monday Qualifier

By Ryan Gager

The Colorado Open, one of the biggest state opens in golf, had a little extra special meaning for GOLFTEC this year. We were again proud to be a sponsor of this great event. It’s a partnership that goes back several years, and since GOLFTEC was started in Denver, it just makes sense.

This year we were thrilled to have Fredrik Lindblom compete, and I volunteered to get out of the office from my normal marketing job and caddie for him. I don’t have an extensive resume when it comes to caddying, but I knew the course and I knew Fredrik, so I figured I could offer some help and not be a hinderance.

It was a great experience being on the bag and getting an up close and personal view of what life is like for these players trying to make it in professional golf. For Fredrik it’s a balance between being ready for competition, producing content as an influencer, and managing the Short Game Gains business with his girlfriend, and fellow GOLFTEC Athlete, Hannah Gregg. Even though this was only Fredrik’s third event of the year, he seemed focused and determined to prove he has the game to compete at this level.

Let the Tournament Begin!

Right away I could tell Fredrik had game. We picked targets and yardages and he hit all of them. (We utilized the GOLFTEC App in Rules Compliant Mode to give us carry and layup distances and tracked all of Fredrik’s stats throughout the week.) We were cruising through the first round, then got to number 16. This short par is one of the craziest holes, because it only requires 7-iron off the tee, but then you hit into a green that’s guarded by tall trees on the front right. From the right side of the fairway we had to go directly over the trees to a front pin. Fredrik hit his sand wedge with plenty of height to clear the trees, however as the ball started it’s decent toward the green it got caught in the branches of the very last tree and stayed up there! It was a brutal break and he ended up making a double bogey.

Despite the unfortunate double, Fredrik shot a very consistent 2-under, 69.

A Memorable Second Round

The second round is always cut day. The round where many golfers hover and one shot here or there can be the difference in making the cut, playing the weekend and earning a paycheck, or simply going home empty-handed.

Fredrik began the day at 2-under, and by the time he teed off in the afternoon, the cut line was sitting at 2-under. Even so, there was no need to mention the cut line. It feels like one of those unwritten rules, and I was confident if Fredrik played his game he would make the cut with no problem. I didn’t even realize the treat I was in for.

We started on the back nine and a couple early birdies got Fredrik to 4-under for the tourney. A minor slip up with a three-putt bogey on 17 pushed Fredrik back to 3-under as we made the turn, still one clear of the cut.

After an uneventful first four holes of the second nine, Fredrik stepped up to the long par 3, 5th and hit an absolutely perfect 5-iron that settled three feet from the pin. He calmly knocked in the birdie putt, which started an incredible run to the clubhouse. On the par 4, 7th he hit his approach to 5 feet for another birdie, on the par 3, 8th he hit his tee shot to a foot for another birdie, and on the par 5, 9th he had a tricky 20-foot double-breaking putt that he buried to finish the round with four birdies in five holes!

It was an incredible round of 5-under, 66 that vaulted him into the top-15 on the leaderboard.

The Weekend

“Everything was just a little bit off.” The words from Fredrik were so true, and especially when the margins are so slim, it’s costly to have a tough day. On Saturday, when Fredrik admittedly didn’t have his best stuff, he was able to grind out a 1-over 72. But an over par round at this level, even just one over means you are losing strokes to the field.

Despite the tough day Saturday, we were in good spirits Sunday and Fredrik finished off the week with a very solid round of 2-under 69. Fredrik ended the tournament at 8-under and in 28th place. A very good showing, but when you consider he shot three of four rounds in the 60s and just cracked the top 30, you understand why Ryan French (Monday Q Info) often says, “stay in school, kids.”

The Monday Qualifier

Heading into the week of the Colorado Open, I decided to try my luck at the Monday Qualifier, to see just what it would take to get into the field, and showcase the level of golf. Many guys trying to qualify have aspirations of playing on some professional tour, and the Colorado Open field consists of guys who have played on PGA Tour Canada, Asian Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour and even LIV Golf.

The $250,000 prize purse entices golfers from all over, especially considering the winner receives $100,000. (By comparison, a KFT winner receives $180,000.)

A little bit about my game and chances: I have been hovering between +1 and 2-handicap for the past 15 years, but usually only play a handful of tournaments each year. If I get on a roll, I can get it to 2, 3, or 4-under, and it would definitely take a round like that to get through the qualifier.

There’s been a lot of talk about Monday qualifiers recently, our good friend Ryan French (Monday Q Info) is the best at covering them. I was also inspired by GOLFTEC Student Anders Larson, who Monday qualified for the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour earlier this year.

Pre-round thoughts heading into the Monday qualifier.
Making the turn at the Monday qualifier.
Final thoughts from my Monday qualifier experience.

I feel like I played well, and shot a respectable 2-over, 73. However, I was still several shots from qualifying for the Colorado Open. I used the GOLFTEC App in Rules Compliant mode, the same as Fredrik and I did during his rounds at the Colorado Open. The GPS targets and yardages were extremely helpful, and the Four Stats To Track confirmed what I already knew as I looked back on the round – I need to work on my putting! I had four bad 3-putts, which is difficult to overcome when every shot counts.

Here are some putting drills that I will definitely be working on, including tips for lag putting from Tour Pro Jim Knous, and working on your starting line with Hannah Gregg.

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