Hahn 11 under going into final round of CoBank Colorado Women’s Open
by Gary Baines
Having a Symetra Tour event opposite the CoBank Colorado Women’s Open likely cost the tournament at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club a handful of potentially its best players, but you’d never know it by the scores at the top of the leaderboard.
In the dozen previous Women’s Opens that have been held at GVR, the best 54-hole total has been 7 under par, when Denver’s Becca Huffer won in 2013.
Suffice it to say that record is in danger this year.
Through Thursday’s second round of the tournament, two players are considerably more under par than Huffer finished three years ago. Jennifer Hahn of Henderson, Nev., who turned pro just three months ago after wrapping up her Vanderbilt career, has proven to be a quick learner in her first Colorado Women’s Open and just her second tournament in Colorado. After going 66-67, she stands at 11-under-par 133.
“Honestly, I’ve just been having fun and playing stress-free golf,” said Hahn, medalist in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur. “I feel like I play the best when I’m more relaxed. That’s all I’m going to do tomorrow (for the final round) is just be relaxed.”
Hahn (pictured above) is also on pace to better the all-time CWO scoring record, regardless of course. That came in 2002, when Isabelle Beisiegel finished 10 under at Valley Country Club.
Meanwhile, 2012 champion Joy Trotter of Chino Hills, Calif., who last competed in a golf tournament in last year’s Women’s Open, hasn’t seen her scores suffer much due to her new profession as a personal chef as she’s at 9-under 135 after carding rounds of 66-69.
“I’m definitely rusty” despite her scores, said Trotter, who has a runner-up finish in addition to her win at the Women’s Open. “I’m still a little nervous over the ball because I really haven’t been training. I’m just playing for fun. Definitely I could be more tuned, but my short game is making up for it.”
Hahn and Trotter have given themselves a little cushion as the top two players. Lacey Fears of Bonaire, Ga., and Lauren Coughlin of Charlottesville, Va., share third place at 6-under 138. And no other player is better than 3 under through 36 holes.
Only one Coloradan is in the top 10 heading into Friday’s final round. Ashley Tait of Littleton, a three-time state high school champion, has struggled this season on the Symetra Tour, missing 13 cuts in 14 events, but she backed up a first-round 74 with a 3-under-par 69 Thursday to move into eighth place at 1-under 143.
Tait, the 2008 CWGA Stroke Play champion, is no stranger to top-10 finishes in the Colorado Women’s Open, having collected five of them since 2008, when she placed third overall.
Hahn has been nothing short of stellar in her first Colorado Women’s Open. The 22-year-old has hit 35 of 36 greens in regulation, made just one bogey, and has racked up a dozen birdies.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised (at being atop the leaderboard in her Women’s Open debut) because I’ve been playing really well,” she said. “I’ve been striking the ball really well. I came here just to have fun. I’m playing the pro-am with my volunteer assistant coach (at Vanderbilt, Julie Bartholomew). I’m just having a blast. I really enjoy this tournament.”
Though Hahn fell two strokes shy of advancing to Stage II of LPGA Tour qualifying last week in Rancho Mirage, Calif., she has recorded one win and four runner-ups since turning pro in late May.
Trotter is in a much different stage in her career, having played plenty of mini-tour golf but having given that up and becoming a personal chef in California. The Colorado Women’s Open is her one tournament of the year, and she’s certainly been making the best of it this week.
Over two rounds, she’s made 11 birdies and two bogeys.
Trotter admits she’s a little surprised at being high on the leaderboard considering her lack of tournaments this year.
“But I’ve been playing well at home when I practice,” she said. “I’m pretty focused. And I’m at a good point in my life. I’m relaxed.”
Hahn, Trotter and the other contenders will be chasing the $11,000 winner’s prize on Friday.
Spiranac Competes in Colo. for First Time Since 2015 CWGA Match Play Win: Former Coloradan Paige Spiranac surged up the leaderboard in Thursday’s second round, but a rough finish turned what might have been a great round into “just” a good one.
Spiranac (left), the social media sensation who appeared on the cover of Golf Digest in May, was 4 under par for the day after making an eagle on No. 12 Thursday. But she bogeyed Nos. 15, 16 and 17, and needed to drain an 18-foot putt to save par on 18 after hitting her tee shot into the hazard left.
Still, the 2015 CWGA Match Play champion shot a 1-under-par 71 and checked in at 1-over 145, good for a share of 16th place.
The Women’s Open marks Spiranac first tournament in Colorado since she won the 100th CWGA Match Play last year at Raccoon Creek Golf Course. It’s also her first Colorado Women’s Open.
“I always love coming back to Colorado,” she said after Thursday’s round. “All my family is here too, so they can come watch me play. It’s fun. I’m used to the golf courses and the grass and the ball flies a little further. I always enjoy coming back. It’s home.”
Spiranac was born in Colorado and lived in the state full-time until she was 13, then she split time between Arizona and Colorado until she went to San Diego State as a student-athlete.
Besides winning the CWGA Match Play last year, Spiranac claimed titles in the CWGA Junior Stroke Play in 2010 and the CJGA Tournament of Champions in 2006.
Spiranac failed to advance out of Stage I of LPGA Q-School last week, but plans to try to qualify for the Ladies European Tour this fall.
Notable: The championship field was cut to the low 38 players and ties after round 2, which turned out to be the 43 competitors at 7-over-par 151 or better. … Tee times for Friday’s final round will range from 7:30 to 9:05 a.m., with the leaders teeing off at the latter time. … University of Denver golfer Jessica Dreesbeimdieke shot a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday and grabbed the lead in the amateur competition. The Juno Beach, Fla., resident stands at 4-over-par 148 overall, leaving her two strokes ahead of Metro State University of Denver golfer Lindsey Gullikson, and three up on Jaclyn Murray of Grand Junction. Those three were the only championship amateurs to make the cut. … Professional Amy Ihm of Peosta, Iowa, and amateur Eric Kenealy of Broomfield lead the pro-am competition by two as they’re 20 under par following rounds of 64-60. Kenealy is chairman of the Colorado Open Golf Foundation. … The start of Thursday’s second round was delayed about 20 minutes by early-morning fog.
For complete scores from the Colorado Women’s Open, CLICK HERE.
For Friday’s final round tee times, CLICK HERE.