Big-Time Late Surge

Gunnison’s Marilyn Hardy wins last six holes of opening match to advance to round of 32 at U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur; Kim Eaton and Stacey Arnold fall in round of 64

By Gary Baines – 10/2/2023

Part-time Gunnison resident Marilyn Hardy lost the first two holes of her opening match at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and was 1 down after nine holes.

But, as if turning on a dime, the two-time CGA Women’s Senior Stroke Play champion became a world-beater on the back nine Monday at Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Starting on No. 10, Hardy won six straight holes to defeat Tina Barker of Fairfield, Calif., 5 and 3, and advance to the round of 32 at the national championship. Hardy, who also won the CGA Women’s Mid-Amateur this year, played holes 10 through 15 in a bogey-free 2 under par to end the match.

Meanwhile, the other two players with strong Colorado ties didn’t fare as well in Monday’s round of 64.

Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton overcame an injured hand — suffered Wednesday when she was involved in an accident that totaled her vehicle — to tie for fifth place in stroke play. But on Monday, 59th-seeded Martha Linscott of Mission Hills, Kan., beat Eaton 2 and 1. 

Eaton, who now lives in nearby Mesa, Ariz., held 1-up leads on the front nine and never trailed until No. 11, where Linscott won the hole with a par. Eaton tied things with a par on 15, but Linscott prevailed on the next two holes — with a birdie and a par, respectively — to close things out. Eaton was 7 over par for 17 holes.

Meanwhile,  Stacey Arnold of Westminster lost 1 up to 15th-seeded Kathy Kurata of Pasadena, Calif., but not before rallying from 4 down through 12 holes. But the Coloradan couldn’t get over the top. After Arnold won No 17 with a par to cut her deficit to 1 down, both players bogeyed the 18th, giving Kurata the win. Arnold was 10 over par for the day.

As for Hardy, a veteran of more than 45 USGA championships, she started match play in stellar fashion as she finished 1 under par for 15 holes in her Monday match — and that’s after bogeying her first two holes.

In Tuesday morning’s round of 32, Hardy will face 46th-seeded Christie Blasi of Ozark, Mo. Whoever wins that match will play in the round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon.

How golfers with strong Colorado ties are faring at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur:


Kathy Kurata, Pasadena, Calif., def. Stacey Arnold, Westminster, 1 up

Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison, def. Tina Barker, Fairfield, Calif., 5 and 3

Martha Linscott, Mission Hills, Kan., def. Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton, 2 and 1


Advance to Match Play

5. CO Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton 74-78–152

9. Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison 82-72–154

49. Stacey Arnold, Westminster 82-82–164

Failed to Advance to Match Play

Joanna Ringsby, Englewood 91-85–176

 Laura Wetzel, Firestone 97-100—197

For all the scores from the Senior Women’s Am, 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 since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates