For the first time since 2012, the CoBank Colorado Women’s Open will kick off the three-event CoBank Colorado Open Championship season. The field for the $150,000 championship—the richest in the country for a women’s state open, with a winner’s share of $50,000—will tee it up at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club May 29-31, swapping places in the schedule with the CoBank Colorado Senior Open, which will now take place August 28-30.
The switch, Colorado Open Foundation Chief Executive Officer Kevin Laura explains, should attract a stronger field. “We won’t be scheduled against a full-field LPGA or Symetra event, which we have been in the fall,” he reasons. He hopes also to get college players who were unable to play in late August because they were back in school. “Plus, with the semester and season ending, those women who plan to turn pro can make their debut with us.” That could mean Katrina Prendergast, the Colorado State senior who led last year’s event after two rounds and finished second.
Although the event overlaps with the U.S. Women’s Open, Laura knows a number of solid players may not qualify, and with the last qualifying round taking place May 7, “that leaves enough time for those women to sign up to play with us.” The CoBank Colorado Women’s Open qualifier is May 27.
If she doesn’t qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, 2013 Colorado Women’s Open champion Becca Huffer has verbally committed. Other standouts in the field potentially include 2012 champion Joy Trotter, recent Cactus Tour winner Brittany Fan, 2005 champion Erin Houtsma, Colorado PGA Women’s Champions Alexandra Braga and Sherry Andonian, and Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Jill McGill, who is trying to enlist fellow Legends Tour players to compete.
“This is a great opportunity for mature and experienced players,” says McGill, who recently moved back to Denver with her family. “I’d love to see more opportunities where you have a population of seasoned professional golfers mixed in with the younger ones.”
This article appeared in the May 2019 Issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.
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