Colorado State senior takes third in final collegiate event of 2022
By Jon Rizzi
On December 31, Connor Jones capped off one the more remarkable seasons in Colorado golf history at the Patriot All-America at Arizona’s Wigwam Golf Club. Jones, a Colorado State senior, finished tied for third at 10-under, two shots off the lead, in a field comprised of 84 of the country’s best college players, firing rounds of 67, 69 and 67 on the par-71 Gold Course.
It took a final-round, 8-under 63 by UNLV’s Caden Fioroni—whose 5-under 31 on the back nine included birdies on four of the last five holes—to clip Ben Lorenz of Oklahoma by one and Jones by two.
Although victory eluded him, Jones now stands at 123 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), vaulting more than 400 spots during a year in which he won both of the Colorado Golf Association men’s major championships—the Match Play and Amateur—and was the low amateur in the Inspirato Colorado Open, finishing third overall while shooting an amateur-record 19-under par.
After winning the Mountain West Championship in the spring, the Westminster native captured the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational and the TPC Colorado Collegiate in the fall.
And at the Trans-Mississippi Amateur at Denver Country Club, he forced a playoff with Pepperdine’s William Mouw, a player ranked 500 spots ahead of him, before falling on the second playoff hole in the Elite Amateur Series event.
Jones finished the season ranked 7th in the nation among collegiate men, according to Golfstat. Golfweek placed him at 34. In both cases, he is the highest ranked Colorado-based player in the country.
The Colorado Golf Association named Jones its 2022 Les Fowler Player of the Year, and on April 14 he will also be one of five players to receive the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s Golf Person of the Year Award at the Hall of Fame’s grand reopening at The Broadmoor.
In related news, Loveland’s Lauren Lehigh, a senior at the University of New Mexico who won the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s 2019 Future Famer Award, finished ninth among women in the Patriot All-America event, shooting a 4-under 206 on The Wigwam’s par-70 Blue Course.
At The Patriot, Lehigh played in honor of fallen Army Staff Sergeant Lillian L. Clamens of Lawton, Oklahoma, who died in action in 2007. Jones honored Army Staff Sergeant Gavin B. Reinke of Pueblo, who died in early 2022.
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