All three 2017 individual champions return to defend titles in girls state high school golf tourneys
by Gary Baines
The 29th season of Colorado girls high school golf since it was first officially sanctioned by the CHSAA will come to a close early next week, and there’s no shortage of notable storylines going into the state tournaments.
In the second season for three separate classifications, all three events are set for Monday and Tuesday (May 21-22), with the 5A tournament at Boulder Country Club, 4A at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, and 3A at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo.
Here are some things worth noting for next week:
— Last year, Hailey Schalk of Holy Family became the first freshman to win a Colorado girls state high school individual title since Ashley Tait managed the feat in 2002 en route to a record-tying three state prep championships.
Schalk, the 2017 Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Girls Player of the Year, has won every high school tournament in which she’s competed so far in her career. She’ll put that record on the line at the 3A meet in Pueblo.
— This year will mark the first time since 2007 that all of the individual state champions will be back to defend their titles. That includes Grandview junior Amy Chitkoksoong (5A), Loveland junior Lauren Lehigh (4A) and Holy Family sophomore Schalk (3A). Lehigh has verbally committed to play her college golf at the University of New Mexico.
— Fairview senior Kelsey Webster, who will play golf for the University of Colorado beginning in the fall, will compete in her final state tournament on her home course, Boulder Country Club. Webster, who won the 5A Central Regional with a 3-under-par 69 at South Suburban earlier this month, finished ninth at state last year. Webster’s 69 was one of two scores in the 60s at the regional state qualifying tournaments. Caroline Jordaan of Colorado Academy, who tied for third in last year’s 3A state meet, fired a regional-best 67 at the 3A Region 2 tournament at CommonGround this month. Webster shot a 66 in a March tournament at Harmony Club.
— Two players who teamed up in the recent U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship — and advanced to the match play round of 32 — will compete against one another in the 3A tournament in Pueblo. That would be Schalk and Charlotte Hillary of Kent Denver, both sophomores who finished 1-2 in last year’s 3A meet.
Both players won regional tournaments, and earlier this week Hillary finished seventh out of 48 players in the 36-hole U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying at The Ranch Country Club.
— Two other regional champions will similarly square off in the 5A tournament in Boulder after meeting in last year’s Colorado Junior Match Play final. Eaglecrest freshman Emma Bryant defeated Chitkoksoong 1 up in that match to claim the title.
— In Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Tour events held so far this spring, girls champions have included Chitkoksoong (twice) and Marie Jordaan of Colorado Academy. Chitkoksoong defeated Jenna Chun of Highlands Ranch in a 5A playoff last year and was runner-up at the state tournament as a freshman. Chun will play her college golf at the University of Northern Colorado beginning in the fall.
— Speaking of Colorado Academy, it’s won four state team titles since 2007, including last year’s 3A crown. CA and 4A Windsor posted the lowest team scores at regionals this month, 227. In 5A, Ralston Valley will defend its title after winning a girls golf state championship last year for the first time. Also back to defend after winning its first girls golf state title last year is Loveland in 4A.
For Monday’s state tournament tee times, CLICK HERE.
Here are the teams and players that won regional tournaments earlier this month to qualify for state:
5A Northern Regional at Collindale GC — Team: Fossil Ridge 242; Individual: Emma Bryant, Eaglecrest, 75.
5A Southern Regional at Colorado Springs CC — Team: Grandview 240; Individual: Amy Chitkoksoong, Grandview, and Morgan Ryan, Grandview, 79.
5A Central Regional at South Suburban GC — Team: Highlands Ranch 236; Individual: Kelsey Webster, Fairview, 69.
5A Western Regional at Fox Hollow GC — Team: Cherry Creek 229; Individual: Brooke Kramer, Cherokee Trail, 73.
4A Region 1 at Garden of the Gods Club — Team: Coronado 254; Individual: Zoey Rodriguez, Pueblo South, and Maxine Choi, Cheyenne Mountain, 78.
4A Region 2 at Eisenhower GC’s Silver Course — Team: Valor Christian 277; Individual: Isabell Deak, Air Academy, 84.
4A Region 3 at Pelican Lakes GC — Team: Windsor 227; Individual: Jessica Zapf, Windsor, and Kinsey Smith, Windsor, 74.
4A Region 4 at Highland Hills GC — Team: Loveland 254; Individual: Lauren Lehigh, Loveland, 74.
3A Region 1 at Hollydot GC — Team: The Classical Academy 271; Individual: Hailey Schalk, Holy Family, 70.
3A Region 2 at CommonGround GC — Team: Colorado Academy 227; Individual: Caroline Jordaan, Colorado Academy, 67.
3A Region 3 at Olde Course at Loveland — Team: Jefferson Academy 240; Individual: Charlotte Hillary, Kent Denver, 70.
3A Region 4 at Rifle Creek GC — Team: Rifle 242; Individual: Masi Smith, Rifle, 72.