CGA amateurs prevail for second straight time at Colorado Cup matches, earning 21.5-18.5 victory over Colorado PGA pros at The Pinery CC

By Gary Baines – 10/13/2021

Fifty years after the Colorado Cup matches were held for the first time, the latest edition was conducted on Wednesday at The Pinery Country Club in Parker. 

And if there was any doubt how much some of the participants enjoy competing in the event, just check in with Erin Houtsma, who has played in the last two Colorado Cups after getting her amateur status back.

“I took a day off of work (for this),” the former Colorado Women’s Open champion said. “I love playing in stuff like this. This is part of the reason I got my amateur status back (after being a pro) — to do fun things like this.

“I love playing in it. I love the event and the different formats. You never get to play in stuff like this.”

And it doesn’t hurt when you come out on the winning side in the biennial match-play competition, like Houtsma did on Wednesday. A group of 20 of the best amateurs in the state — representing the CGA — narrowly defeated 20 top pros from the Colorado PGA, 21.5 points to 18.5. 

It marked the amateurs’ second straight victory in the event, which debuted in 1971. 

Nick Nosewicz (left) cheers on amateur teammates Chris Thayer (center) and Bryan Rusin.

“It’s always fun, especially after watching the Ryder Cup (last month). It feels like this is our Ryder Cup,” said 2015 CGA Match Play champ Nick Nosewicz, an amateur who won all three of his matches on Wednesday and who has a grandfather and an uncle who have also played in the Colorado Cup.

“It doesn’t feel like an exhibition; it feels like a major to me. It sucks to lose, so you want to beat them. I was on that losing team (in 2017 at The Broadmoor). You want that trophy. You want to pick it up and hold it and bring it back and make sure your name is on there. You leave an impact. Twenty years from now, my name will be on that sheet (of past winners). So I think there’s a lot of pride” in that.

While many of the pros and amateurs know one another and are on a friendly basis, there are some bragging rights on the line at the Colorado Cup. 

“It’s definitely competitive, but that’s fun. It’s fun to get out to go play” and compete, said amateur Charlie Soule, who also won all three of his matches on Wednesday, two with Nosewicz as a partner. 

“I think it’s both bragging rights and fun,” Houtsma said of the Colorado Cup. 

Pros Barry Milstead (left) and Rick Cole share a laugh on Wednesday.

Whatever the case, Wednesday produced the closest outcome since the matches went to a single overall champion — rather than separate open division, senior division and women’s division winners.

In the three nine-hole sessions, the teams tied 5-5 in the four-ball, and the CGA prevailed 5.5-4.5 in the foursomes and 11-9 in the singles. Previously since the Colorado Cup went to a single competition, the pros won 26-14 in 2017 and the amateurs came out on top 23-17 in 2019.

“You want to win, but it’s also a great opportunity to play with a lot of guys that you don’t know,” said Colorado PGA pro Doug Rohrbaugh, who won two of his three matches on Wednesday. “It’s always a fun day. It’s a little different (than a typical competition). It’s more just on pride.

“It’s a nice day and good camaraderie, but obviously there’s always disappointment (in losing). But I always look forward to playing it. I’m actually going to play in the West Chapter (version) on Saturday.”

Pro Sam Crawford checks out the line of amateur Rachael Watton’s putt.

A total of four individuals went 3-0 in their matches on Wednesday. Joining amateurs Nosewicz and Soule were pros Mike Weingartner and Tyler Parsloe.

Among those who went 2-1 for the CGA at The Pinery were Chris Thayer, Ryan Burke and Tyler Bishop, who, along with Soule, all recently have qualified for the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. And Burke and his father also just won the CGA Parent-Child title. Meanwhile, in Thayer’s singles match, he defeated Colorado PGA Player of the Year Geoff Keffer, 2 and 1.

In the case of Houtsma, she won two of her three matches after not touching a club since losing in the round of 64 at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur on Sept. 27.

“So it felt a little foreign (playing early in the day on Wednesday),” she said. “‘How do you do this again?’ It was weird getting the feel of it, but it got better and I hit some really good shots and played pretty solidly.”

As for Nosewicz, not only did he greatly contribute to the amateurs’ victory on Wednesday, he did so at a course where he has very fond memories from back in the day.

“The Pinery is the first place I ever broke 40” for nine holes, he said. “It was a junior event and I think I was 11 years old and took third place.”

This time around, he also played well, but there was no settling for third place.

This one, “You get a uniform. It’s the end of the year, the last event. And, gosh, do you want to win it more than anything,” Nosewicz added.

Amateur Charlie Soule sinks a putt to close out his singles match on Wednesday.

In that regard, it was mission accomplished on Wednesday both for Nosewicz and the CGA amateur team as a whole.

For the record, when there were separate competitions at the Colorado Cup, the Colorado PGA professionals led the all-time series in the open division, 30-14 with two draws. The CGA’s amateurs led the senior fivision series 16-15, with three draws. And the CWGA’s amateurs won all 11 Colorado Cup Matches in which they competed against the pros.

Members of the Colorado PGA chat prior to Wednesday’s singles matches.

Colorado Cup Matches

At The Pinery CC’s Mountain Course

(P — indicates Colorado PGA professional; A — indicates CGA amateur)


9-HOLE FOUR-BALL (CGA Amateurs 5, Colorado PGA Pros 5)

Jeff Carter/Caine Fitzgerald (P) def. Bryan Rusin/Chris Thayer (A), 2 up

Tyler Bishop/Ryan Burke (A) def. Geoff Keffer/Jason Witczak (P), 1 up 

Mike Weingartner/Tyler Parsloe (P) def. Cole Nygren/Joel Perez (A), 2 and 1

Nick Nosewicz/Charlie Soule (A) def. Kyle Voska/Grant Jackson (P) , 2 and 1

Steve Ivan/Keith Atkins (A) def. Doug Rohrbaugh/Micah Rudosky (P), 3 and 2

Barry Milstead/Rick Cole (P) tied with Robert Polk/Scott Sullivan (A)

Bill Hancock/Brian Gott (P) def. John Hornbeck/Kent Moore (A), 2 and 1

Mark Avery/Ron Vlosich (P) tied with David Delich/Bob Schuler (A)

Jackie Cunningham/Katie Milstead (P) def. Kristine Franklin/Erin Houtsma (A), 3 and 2

Kim Eaton/Rachael Watton (A) def. Tara Morris/Sam Crawford (P), 3 and 2

9-HOLE FOURSOMES (CGA Amateurs 5.5, Colorado PGA Pros 4.5)

Bryan Rusin/Chris Thayer (A) def. Jeff Carter/Caine Fitzgerald (P), 1 up 

Tyler Bishop/Ryan Burke (A) def. Geoff Keffer/Jason Witczak (P), 2 up 

Mike Weingartner/Tyler Parsloe (P) def. Cole Nygren/Joel Perez (A), 3 and 2

Nick Nosewicz/Charlie Soule (A) def. Kyle Voska/Grant Jackson (P) , 3 and 2

Doug Rohrbaugh/Micah Rudosky (P) def. Steve Ivan/Keith Atkins (A), 3 and 1

Barry Milstead/Rick Cole (P) def. Robert Polk/Scott Sullivan (A), 3 and 2

John Hornbeck/Kent Moore (A) def. Bill Hancock/Brian Gott (P), 1 up 

Mark Avery/Ron Vlosich (P) tied with David Delich/Bob Schuler (A)

Kristine Franklin/Erin Houtsma (A) def. Jackie Cunningham/Katie Milstead (P), 3 and 2

Tara Morris/Sam Crawford (P) def. Kim Eaton/Rachael Watton (A), 2 up

9-HOLE SINGLES (CGA Amateurs 11, Colorado PGA Pros 9)

Tyler Parsloe (P) def. Ryan Burke (A), 2 and 1

Mike Weingartner (P) def. Tyler Bishop (A), 3 and 1 

Chris Thayer (A) def. Geoff Keffer (P), 2 and 1

Bryan Rusin (A) tied with Jason Witczak (P)

Cole Nygren (A) def. Kyle Voska (P), 1 up

Grant Jackson (P) def. Joel Perez (A), 2 and 1

Nick Nosewicz (A) def. Jeff Carter (P), 2 and 1

Charlie Soule (A) def. Justin Limon (P), 4 and 2

Steve Ivan (A) tied with Mark Avery (P)

David Delich (A) tied with Brian Gott (P)

Keith Atkins (A) tied with Bill Hancock (P)

Micah Rudosky (P) def. John Hornbeck (A), 2 and 1

Robert Polk (A) def. Ron Vlosich (P), 1 up

Doug Rohrbaugh (P) def. Kent Moore (A), 3 and 1 

Bob Schuler (A) def. Rick Cole (P), 1 up

Barry Milstead (P) def. Scott Sullivan (A), 2 and 1 

Erin Houtsma (A) def. Jackie Cunningham (P), 3 and 2

Kim Eaton (A) tied with Katie Milstead (P)

Kristine Franklin (A) def. Sam Crawford (P), 2 and 1

Rachael Watton (A) tied with Tara Morris (P)

For results online, CLICK HERE.

For more on the outcome of past Colorado Cup matches, visit the CGA results archive section by CLICKING HERE.

From left, Erin Houtsma, Katie Milstead and Jackie Cunningham watch the tee shot of Kim Eaton on Wednesday.