Coloradans Shine in AJGA

Landon Houska of Fort Collins posts win in his first AJGA start; Hadley Ashton of Erie finishes runner-up in playoff at another AJGA event, while  Boulder’s Miles Kuhl notches top-5 showing in boys division

By Gary Baines – 4/22/2024

It was a big weekend for Colorado golfers at two American Junior Golf Association tournaments separated by almost 1,800 miles.

Landon Houska of Fort Collins scored a boys division victory in his first AJGA event, at the Victoria Texas Preview.

And Hadley Ashton of Erie finished second among the girls and Miles Kuhl of Boulder fourth among the boys at the AJGA Junior at Copper Valley in Copperopolis, Calif.

In a field featuring 69 boys golfers, Houska prevailed by one at an AJGA Preview Series event, which is for members who haven’t played/been accepted into an AJGA tournament. Houska birdied the final hole to beat three golfers who tied for runner-up status.

Houska recorded scores of 72-72-71 to finish at 1-under 215. He made eight birdies and seven bogeys for week.

For all the scores from Victoria, CLICK HERE.

Hadley Ashton of Erie and Miles Kuhl of Boulder had strong showings on Sunday in Copperopolis, Calif.

In California, Ashton, the CGA Girls Player of the Year for 2023, was runner-up at the AJGA Junior at Copper Valley, where she lost in a playoff when Kacey Ly of Temple City, Calif., birdied the first extra hole.

Both Ashton and Ly ended up at 3 under par for 54 holes, with Ashton going 71-73-69. A 2025 University of Wisconsin commitment, Ashton birdied three of her last five holes to force the playoff. Over the three rounds, she carded nine birdies and six bogeys in the 27-player girls tournament.

Ashton, winner of the 4A girls state high school individual title in 2022 as a freshman at Erie H.S., came into the week ranked No. 112 in the world among female juniors by Junior Golf Scoreboard and No. 135 by Rolex AJGA. Sunday marked her fourth top-10 finish — including two runner-ups — at an AJGA event since June 1, 2023. She won the 2022 AJGA Colorado Junior at Walnut Creek and placed fifth individually at last year’s Girls Junior Americas Cup.

Meanwhile, Kuhl tied for fourth place on Sunday out of 51 boys contestants. 

Kuhl went 75-69-68 and ended up nine strokes behind champion Hartej Grewal of Pleasanton, Calif. Kuhl, individual runner-up in the 5A boys state high school tournament last fall, went bogey-free on Sunday and finished with an eagle, nine birdies and seven bogeys over the three rounds.

For all the scores from Copper Valley, 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. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates