Former CU star advances to Round of 16
By Jon Rizzi
As Colorado’s male competitors struggled to advance in the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club, Denver’s Erin Houtsma made some serious noise in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Forest Highlands Golf Clubin Flagstaff, Ariz.
Houtsma—who won the 2006 CoBank Colorado Women’s Open as a professional and had her amateur status reinstated three years ago—reached the Round of 16 by defeating 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am champ Martha Leach of Hebron, Ky., 2 up, in the Round of 32.
In the Round of 16, the 21st-seeded CU alum squared off against fifth-seeded Megan Buck, who’d played her college golf at the nearby University of Northern Arizona.
Down two holes after the front nine, Houtsma evened the match by winning holes 10 and 11, and then took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 13th.
The two took turns winning holes, with Houtsma ultimately going into the final hole 1 up after making par on the 17th as Buck bogeyed.
But the pattern the competitors had seemingly established called for Buck to win the par-5 18th, which she did when the former CU Buff carded a bogey.
With the match all square, the two went to extra holes. The sudden death occurred on the first one, as Houtsma again bogeyed, allowing Buck’s par to win.
For someone who hadn’t played in a USGA event in 17 years, Houtsma played superbly.
Like Houtsma, two other Colorado players—Marilyn Hardy of Gunnison and Susie Roh of Denver—competed against former Women’s Mid-Am champs in the Round of 32. Both, however lost.
Hardy lost, 1 up, to 2013 and 2016 champion Julia Potter-Bobb of Indianapolis. Roh fell, 7 and 6, to 2015 winner Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Va.
Houtsma advanced the furthest of the seven Coloradans in the field. Both Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton and Jessica Smith of Grand Junction lost in the Round of 64, while Colorado Hall of Famer Janet Moore and Allison Besant of Broomfield failed to advance from stroke play.
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