There’s plenty new in Division I college golf in Colorado as local programs gear up for first fall season since 2019
By Gary Baines – 9/2/2021
If there’s one common theme heading into the 2021-22 NCAA Division I golf season for Colorado programs, it’s change.
— This will mark the first season of official fall tournament golf for the nine local DI teams since 2019 as Covid-19 safety concerns nixed all the autumn tournaments in 2020. (It should be noted that most Colorado-based DII programs competed at least some last fall.) The first DI tournaments for local programs begin on Sept. 10.
— An amazing five of the nine DI teams in Colorado underwent head coaching changes in the offseason. The rundown:
Air Force Academy Men: George Koury has been succeeded on an interim basis by Tyler Goulding.
University of Denver Men: Trake Carpenter has been succeeded by Logan Goulding.
DU Women: Lindsay Kuhle has been succeeded by Martha Richards.
University of Northern Colorado Men: Roger Prenzlow has been succeeded by director of golf Clayton Sikorski.
UNC Women: Ben Portie has been succeeded by director of golf Clayton Sikorski.
— With the coaching changes came some transfers of notable Colorado residents:
Cal McCoy of Highlands Ranch, long one of the top players at DU, is headed to the University of Arizona.
Connor Jones of Westminster, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur this summer, left DU for Colorado State University.
And Caroline Jordaan, runner-up in the 2021 CGA Women’s Stroke Play and a semifinalist in the Women’s Match Play,departed DU for Texas Christian University.
— With the return of fall golf at the Division I level comes DI tournaments being played in Colorado for the first time in two years. At least seven such tourneys are planned for the state this fall (see list below), including the DU men’s Paintbrush Invitational at Colorado Golf Club in Parker returning to the schedule for the first time since 2018.
Local NCAA Division I and II Notes: Italian Anna Zanusso is ready for her third season at DU after tying for ninth place at the women’s NCAA national championships in May. That was the second-best individual showing ever by a DU women’s golfer at nationals, behind only Stephanie Sherlock’s fifth-place showing in 2008. … Though we’ve focused here mainly on Division I golf, it’s worth noting that CSU-Pueblo is scheduled to host the men’s NCAA Division II super regional in the spring at Pueblo Country Club. … CSU-Pueblo was recently voted No. 22 in the nation in the men’s Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Preseason Coaches’ Poll. … Also on the DII level, Fort Lewis’ Darren Edwards on Sunday beat plenty of quality pros to claim the overall title in the Navajo Trail Open in Durango. The 2017 4A state high school individual champion from Thompson Valley in Loveland finished at 13-under-par 200 total, going 66-69-65. … University of Colorado junior Ellie Gower finished second recently in the English Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship, ending up nine strokes behind winner Bel Wardle. … The CSU women’s roster features two sets of sisters: Thea and Tomine Bjerkelo of Norway (twins), and Panchalika and Pemika Arphamongkol of Thailand.
Here are some key items this season regarding the Division I programs based in Colorado:
SEASON OPENERS FOR COLORADO-BASED NCAA DIVISION I TEAMS
— CU, DU, UNC and AFA Men: Sept. 10-12, Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, Eisenhower GC at Air Force Academy.
— CU, DU and CSU Women, Sept. 13-14: Branch Law Firm-Dick McGuire Invitational, Albuquerque, N.M.
— UNC Women, Sept. 14-15: Hobble Creek Fall Classic, Orem, Utah
— CSU Men: Sept. 20-21, Ram Masters Invitational, Fort Collins CC
COLORADO-BASED NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENTS IN 2021-22 SEASON
— Sept. 10-12: Men’s Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, Eisenhower GC at Air Force Academy. Participating local teams: Host Air Force Academy, CU, DU, UNC.
— Sept. 20-21: Men’s Ram Masters Invitational, Fort Collins CC. Participating local teams: Host CSU, UNC, AFA.
— Sept. 27-28: Men’s Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, Colorado National GC in Erie. Participating local teams: Host CU, DU, UNC, AFA, CSU (individuals only).
— Sept. 27-29: Women’s Golfweek Conference Challenge, Red Sky Ranch GC in Wolcott. Participating local team: CU, DU.
— Oct. 4-5: Men’s DU Paintbrush Invitational, Colorado GC in Parker. Participating local teams: Host DU, UNC.
— Oct. 8-10: Women’s Ron Moore Intercollegiate, University of Denver GC at Highlands Ranch. Participating local teams: Host DU, CSU, UNC.
— Oct. 18-19: Women’s Colonel Wollenberg Ram Classic, Ptarmigan CC in Fort Collins. Participating local teams: Host CSU, DU, UNC.
DIVISION I CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR COLORADO DIVISION I PROGRAMS
— April 18-20: Women’s Pac-12, Eugene, Ore. (CU)
— April 18-20: Women’s Mountain West, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (CSU)
— April 18-20: Women’s Big Sky, Scottsdale, Ariz. (UNC)
— April 24-26: Women’s Summit League, Newton, Kan. (DU)
— April 25-27: Men’s Big Sky, Scottsdale, Ariz. (UNC)
— April 25-28: Men’s Pac-12, Sammamish, Wash. (CU)
— April 29-May 1: Men’s Mountain West, Bremerton, Wash. (CSU, AFA)
— May 1-3: Men’s Summit League, Newton, Kan. (DU)
NOTABLE OFFSEASON TRANSFERS OF COLORADO GOLFERS
— Cal McCoy of Highlands Ranch (DU to Arizona)
— Connor Jones of Westminster (DU to CSU)
— Caroline Jordaan of Lakewood (DU to Texas Christian)
— Kelsey Webster of Boulder (CU to Oregon State)
COLORADANS ON ROSTERS OF LOCAL DI PROGRAMS
— Davis Bryant, Aurora: CSU (joined team in 2018)
— Emma Bryant, Aurora: DU (joining team in 2021)
— Jack Castiglia, Lakewood: UNC (joined team in 2018)
— Amy Chitkoksoong, Aurora: UNC (joined team in 2019)
— Jenna Chun, Highlands Ranch: UNC (joined team in 2018)
— Gavin Hagstrom, Fort Collins: CSU (joined team in 2020)
— Max Heupel, Littleton: AFA (joined team in 2020)
— Ryder Heuston, Louisville: DU (joined team in 2020)
— Jack Hughes, Aspen: CU (joined team in 2019)
— Jordan Jennings, Montrose: CSU (joining team in 2021)
— Connor Jones, Westminster: CSU (transferred to team in 2021)
— Jacob Mason, Westminster: CU (joined team in 2020)
— Westin Pals, Castle Rock: UNC (joined team in 2020)
— Hailey Schalk, Erie: CU (joined team in 2020)
— TJ Shehee, Mead: UNC (joined team in 2019)
— Jackson Solem, Longmont: DU (joined team in 2017)
— Marcus Tait, Littleton: UNC (joined team in 2017)
— Luke Trujillo, Colorado Springs: AFA (joined team in 2018)