Ever So Close

Denver’s Houtsma beats former national champ, then falls in 19 holes in round of 16 at U.S. Women’s Mid-Am

By Gary Baines – 09/17/2019

Tuesday proved quite a day for Denver resident Erin Houtsma at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Competing in her first USGA championship in 17 years, Houtsma defeated 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am champ Martha Leach of Hebron, Ky., in Tuesday morning’s round of 32, 2 up.

Then in the afternoon round of 16, the 2005 CoBank Colorado Women’s Open champion came thisclose to making the quarterfinals.

Alas, after leading 1 up going into the 18th hole, Houtsma lost that hole — and the 19th — by making bogeys to see her run end in the not-so-Sweet 16. (Houtsma is pictured in a USGA photo by Darren Carroll.)

Facing fifth-seeded Megan Buck, a former Northern Arizona University golfer from Easton, Mass., in the round of 16, the former University of Colorado golfer won the 17th hole with a par to go 1 up. But her back-to-back bogeys — compared to Buck’s par-par finish — proved the difference. Houtsma had been 1 over par for 17 holes before her rough last two holes.

In the round of 32 against Leach, Houtsma won the last two holes — with a birdie and a par — to prevail 2 up over the former champ.

The other Colordans who competed on Tuesday fell in the round of 32 to former Women’s Mid-Am champs.

Marilyn Hardy of Gunnison made it close against two-time national champ — and 2019 stroke-play medalist — Julia Potter-Bobb of Indianapolis — but lost 1 up. After being 3 down through 14, Hardy won the next two holes with a par and a birdie before the players halved the last two with pars. Hardy finished 2 over for the match.

Meanwhile, Susie Roh of Denver lost to 2015 Women’s Mid-Am champ Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Va., 7 and 6.

Here’s how all the players with strong Colorado connections fared this week at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur:


Megan Buck of Eason, Mass., def. Erin Houtsma of Denver, 19 holes


Erin Houtsma of Denver def. Martha Leach of Hebron, Ky., 2 up

Julia Potter-Bobb of Indianapolis def. Marilyn Hardy of Gunnison, 1 up

Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Va., def. Susie Roh of Denver, 7 and 6


Marilyn Hardy of Gunnison def. Michelle Jarman of Wilmington, N.C., 2 and 1

Susie Roh of Denver def. Courtney McKim of Raleigh, N.C., 2 up

Paige McCullough of Stillwater, Minn. def. Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton, 3 and 2

Erin Houtsma of Denver def. Lea Venable of Simpsonville, S.C., 1 up

Ina Kim-Schaad of New York def. Jessica Smith of Grand Junction, 4 and 3


Advanced to Match Play

19. Erin Houtsma, Denver 74-73–147

28. Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison 75-74—149

35. Colorado Golf Hall of Fame Kim Eaton 72-78–150

48. Susie Roh, Denver 79-74–153

50. Jessica Smith, Grand Junction 76-78–154

Failed to Make Match Play

Janet Moore, Centennial 84-81–165

Allison Besant, Broomfield 89-80–169

For all the scores, CLICK HERE.