A year after losing to the eventual champ in quarterfinals of U.S. Women’s Am, Coloradan Lauren Lehigh earns spot in match play again; also advancing is CU golfer Morgan Miller
By Gary Baines – 8/8/2023
Last year, Lauren Lehigh of Loveland had a magical run at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
This year, the opportunity is there for more of the same.
A summer after Lehigh advanced to the quarterfinals of the national championship — where the two-time winner of the girls state high school individual title lost to eventual champion Saki Baba of Japan — Lehigh has earned a return trip to the match-play portion of the Women’s Am.
Lehigh shot a 1-over-par 71 Tuesday at storied Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, giving her a two-day stroke-play total of 1-over 141. With the top 64 performers out of the 156-player field landing match-play berths, Lehigh easily made the grade.
The former Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Girls Player of the Year — and now a University of New Mexico golfer — Lehigh made 10 birdies, nine bogeys and a double bogey in her 36 holes of stroke play. She’ll play her round-of-64 match on Wednesday.
It should be noted that Lehigh’s achievement last year was a rare one for a Colorado resident. No other Coloradan — including current LPGA standout Jennifer Kupcho — has advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Am in the last two decades.
Lehigh will be joined in match play by University of Colorado golfer Morgan Miller, a two-time winner of the girls Colorado match-play title. Miller, who originally was an alternate for the Women’s Am following the June 21 qualifier at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, went 71-70 in L.A. to tie Lehigh in stroke play. Miller carded four birdies and five bogeys through 36 holes.
The other player with strong Colorado ties who earned a spot in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, University of Denver golfer Emma Bryant of Aurora, shot 74-76 and failed to make match play.
Scores of the players with strong Colorado connections competing at the U.S. Women’s Amateur:
25. Lauren Lehigh of Loveland 70-71—141
25. CU golfer Morgan Miller 71-70–141
Failed to Make Match Play
114. Emma Bryant of Aurora, a DU golfer 74-76—150
For all the scores from Bel-Air CC, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com