Keeping the Streak Alive

Moore earns 11th straight trip to U.S. Women's Mid-Am; fellow Coloradans Hardy, Creech also qualify at Grand Elk

by Gary Baines - 8/22/2018

Janet Moore has this USGA qualifying thing down pat.

Particularly when it comes to the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and the U.S. Senior Women's Open.

In the last 11 years when the Colorado Golf Hall of Famer has attempted to qualify for those three USGA events, she's never failed.

Taking it a step further, she's been medalist about as often as not in qualifying tournaments for those championships over that time.

On Wednesday at a U.S. Women's Mid-Am qualifier at Grand Elk Golf Club in Granby, Moore fell a little short of medalist honors, but she easily earned a spot in the national championship, set for Sept. 22-27 at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis.

"I enjoy playing in the qualifiers," said the 54-year-old, who won five CWGA Stroke Play titles in the 1990s. "The numbers are good (in terms of qualifiers vs. the size of the fields) -- and today the numbers were really good -- so I thought I just needed to go out there and play a solid round. I was pleased that that happened."

A total of seven players out of the field of 22 contestants advanced, including three Coloradans: Moore, a resident of Centennial (4-over-par 75); Marilyn Hardy, who splits her time between Gunnison and the Houston area (77); and Staci Creech of Englewood (78). Hardy, wife of renowned golf instructor Jim Hardy, once made it as far as the semifinals in the U.S. Women's Mid-Am, which is limited to players 25 and older.

Joining them in qualifying at Grand Elk were co-medalists Kay Daniel of Covington, La., and Sue Billek Nyhus of Orem, Utah, who carded 2-over-par 73s; and Annette Gaiotti of Park City, Utah, and Jennifer Delgadillo of Horizon City, Texas, who posted 77s.

(The qualifiers are pictured, from left: Hardy, Gaiotti, Delgadillo, Creech, Daniel, Nyhus and Moore.)

Nyhus, the current women's golf head coach at Utah Valley University and former coach at Brigham Young University, shot her 73 despite bogeying her last three holes. Daniel, who went to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Mid-Am in 2015 and has made match play at the event for eight of the last nine years, made one birdie and three bogeys on Wednesday.

As for Moore, she earned a spot in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur for the 11th consecutive year -- though she didn't end up competing in 2013 -- and 16th time overall. It'll be her 27th USGA championship as earlier this year she competed in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open.

"It's always special to go to USGA events -- always," she said. "It's an honor to go, but for me I have a little higher goals than just qualifying. Lately, I haven't been doing as well (at the national championships). Hopefully I can do well once I'm there (for this event). For sure my goal is to make it to match play and maybe win one or two matches. I would feel that's a real successful tournament for me."

At Grand Elk, Moore was 4 over par through seven holes, but played her final 11 in even par. Her husband Kent, also a Colorado Golf Hall of Famer, caddied for her on Wednesday.

"He drove all the way up to caddie for me, which was nice," she said. "It worked out real well. I always play better when he's on the bag."

Coincidentally, the last time Janet Moore had played Grand Elk before this week, she and Kent shared the title with two other couples in the now-defunct CGA/CWGA Mixed Team Championship more than a quarter-century ago.

U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Qualifying
At Par-71 Grand Elk GC in Granby

Kay Daniel, Covington, La. 73
Sue Billek Nyhus, Orem, Utah 73
Janet Moore, Centennial 75
Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison 77
Annette Gaiotti, Park City, Utah 77
Jennifer Delgadillo, Horizon City, Texas 77
Staci Creech, Englewood 78
Amy Ricci, Edwards 79
Alicia Bakken, Westminster 79

For all the scores from Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

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