It's been a long time since Ross Macdonald tasted victory in a golf tournament, but a trip out west worked wonders.
The University of Colorado golfer ended the drought on Sunday with a three-shot win in the 35th CGA Western Chapter Championship at Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction. It was the first victory in almost three years for the golfer from the Country Club at Castle Pines -- since he claimed two significant Colorado junior titles in 2014.
"It's been a while," said the 21-year-old, who won the 2013 and '14 Colorado Junior Amateur. "So this means everything. It's awesome to be able to finally get it done. That feeling of winning a tournament is really cool."
This weekend marked Macdonald's first time competing in the Western Chapter Championship.
"I know I've been close to winning a tournament," he said. "That's actually why I went out here. I wanted to get a win. Obviously I got that done, so it feels good. That gets the confidence up."
Macdonald, who redshirted last season at CU, put together two very strong rounds at Tiara Rado, going 67-66 for a 9-under-par 133 total. Only one other player -- University of Denver golfer Isaac Petersilie from Colorado Springs Country Club -- finished under par for two rounds.
Macdonald made a dozen birdies over 36 holes and his 66 on Sunday matches his low tournament score ever.
"I was hitting the ball in really good spots off the tee," he said. "My wedges were really dialed in and I was making some solid putts. I didn't ever do anything erratic the whole week(end), so I think that helped out a lot."
Petersilie, who followed up Macdonald's Junior Amateur wins with a victory in that event in 2015, matched Macdonald's 66 on Sunday to check in at 136. Petersilie also had a seven-birdie, two-bogey day in round 2.
Petersilie, a former state high school champion, started round 2 three back of Macdonald, but he caught the CU golfer with his seventh birdie of the day, at No. 14. Macdonald pulled back in front -- for good -- with a birdie on No. 15, then a Petersilie bogey on 16 and a Macdonald birdie on 18 accounted for the three-shot margin of victory.
Claiming third place on Sunday was Chris Carlson of Highlands Ranch Golf Club, who carded back-to-back 71s for a 142 total. Barrett Jones of Eagle Ranch Golf Course, runner-up in the CGA Junior Am earlier this week, ended up fourth at 143 after a closing 73.
In the senior division, Brian Woody (left) of the Ridge at Castle Pines North went wire-to-wire for the title. He shot a 4-over-par 75 on Sunday, giving him a 5-over 147 total and a two-stroke victory. Woody's second round was highlighted by an eagle on the 455-yard par-5 second hole.
Keith Atkins of Highland Meadows Golf Course placed second at 149 after posting a 73 on Sunday. Former CGA Senior Player of the Year Harry Johnson of Eagle Ranch tied for third at 151, along with Owen Ellis of Flatirons Golf Course, Thomas Roos of Spring Valley Golf Club, Shane Unfred of Highland Meadows and Gary Driber of the Ridge at Castle Pines North.
For scores from the Western Chapter Championship, CLICK HERE.