CGA Match Play Championship Day 1 Recap

Cole Nygren, winner of last year’s 121st CGA Match Play Championship defeated Collin Engelhardt of The Club at Pradera 5 and 4 at CommonGround Golf Course to win an opening point in his bid to repeat as the CGA Match Play Champion.  Similarly, Leigha Devine, winner of the last year’s 105th CGA Women’s Match Play earned an opening-round point but hers came with a first-round bye. 

Other notable players to win matches on Tuesday included 2021 CGA Player-of-the-Year Chris Thayer who defeated Randy Mangel of Legacy Ridge Golf Course 4 and 2.  The 2020 Match Play Champ and 2020 CGA Player-of-the-Year, Colin Prater defeated Brent Landen of Denver 6 and 5.  Westin Pals of Blackstone Country Club upset 2019 Match Play Champion, Josh McLaughlin 3 and 2.  Last year’s runner-up, Carson Griggs of the University of Denver Golf Club tied his match with a birdie on the final hole to earn a half-point against Lucas Shulte of Lone Tree Golf Club.

On the women’s side of the draw, Aubri Braecklein, the 2019 CGA Women’s Stroke Play Champ, tied her opening match against Marilyn Hardy of Dos Rios Golf Club.  A total of eight matches came down to the final hole in women’s pod play, but only the Braecklein-Hardy match ended in a tie.  In three of those matches, a closing birdie on CommonGround’s par-five 18th hole gave Anju Ogi, Hannah Basler, and Timbre Shehee 1-up win over their respective opponents.

A total of 64 men and 31 women will continue pod match play through Wednesday with the pod winners advancing to single-elimination matches.  On the men’s side of the draw, the round of 16 matches will be played on Wednesday afternoon with the winners of those matches advancing to Friday’s quarter-finals at The Broadmoor Golf Club’s famous East Course.  On the women’s side, pod play winners will advance directly to The Broadmoor.