Along with bringing the Broncos back to NFL prominence, John Elway has had another goal the past few years: bringing a major PGA tournament back to Colorado. Elway usually finds a way to get what he wants eventually, so it was with pride Tuesday at the Cherry Hills Country Club that Elway spoke of the BMW Championship coming to the club in September.
"The history and the heritage we have here at Cherry Hills, we couldn't have had a better tournament to bring here at this point and time," said Elway, a board member of the club and still a 1-handicap, scratch golfer. "I'm just glad to have played a part in getting it to come here. It was really a pretty easy sell. Since The International left, we really haven't had that kind of tournament here, and it's such a tremendous state as far as the fans and their interest goes."
Elway, the Broncos' vice president of football operations and general manager, played a 9-hole foursome with former Broncos safety John Lynch, along with defending BMW Championship winner Zach Johnson and the Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer. The event benefits the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Grant Cassell, an Evans Scholar entering his junior year at CU-Boulder, served as Elway's caddy for the day.
"I'm really excited," said Cassell, 20, majoring in Bio-Chem. "It's especially nice to be part of something that benefits the Evans Scholars Foundation, because it's given me so much."
The Evans Scholars Foundation is the nation's largest scholarship program for golf caddies who come from disadvantaged financial circumstances.
Lynch, now an NFL television analyst, said one of his uncles is a former Evans Scholar and "to be a part of this now, I can see what a great thing it is for young people. I think it's great, these kids' stories, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of them."
Johnson, who won last year's BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill., and won the 2007 Masters, called Colorado his "happy place."
"There's some great golf history here, with (Arnold Palmer) tossing his hat in the air after winning the U.S. Open (in 1960) with that great comeback he had. It's a real thrill to be able to participate in this tournament here and to see a PGA event again in Colorado," Johnson said.
Elway, sporting a Broncos-orange leisure shirt, said he's played Cherry Hills regularly for a long time and said "it has its intricacies about it."
"It's much easier to play from the fairway than it is from that rough,' Elway said. "But I think the golf course is really all about the subtleties of the greens."
Elway always has loved — and been frustrated by — the game of golf.
"As soon as I think I'm pretty good, it starts going sideways," Elway said. "This game is so much different from football, because golf is a game you have to sit back and hit each shot the best you can hit it and be patient. Football, you can have a bad half or three quarters and can have a great fourth quarter and still win. In golf, if you have a bad first (few holes), it's very difficult to get it turned around."
Adrian Dater: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/adater