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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:

TUESDAY’S MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 16

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

TUESDAY’S MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 32

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

MONDAY’S MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 64

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

WEEKEND STROKE PLAY

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.