Familiar Territory

Big late surge falls just short for Coloradan Becca Huffer, who finishes 2nd at Colorado Women’s Open for the 4th time (in addition to her 2 wins)

By Gary Baines – 6/16/2023

With Becca Huffer starting the final day of the Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open six strokes out of the lead, a comeback for a victory seemed improbable.

But if anyone should know that just about anything is possible at the CWO, it’s Huffer.

After all, when the Monument resident won the Women’s Open for the second time, she did so despite Yealimi Noh taking a three-stroke lead into the final hole of regulation. A quadruple-bogey 9 by Noh on that hole, plus a birdie by Huffer in sudden death, led to the Coloradan being handed the championship trophy again — in 2019.

And though deja vu nearly struck on Friday in the final round of this year’s CWO at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, Huffer came up just short of the title on this occasion.

Haylee Harford of Leavittsburg, Ohio, a fellow Epson Tour regular, escaped with a one-stroke victory — and the $100,000 that goes with it — despite bogeying the final hole on Friday, and playing her back nine in 3 over.

In contrast, Huffer, the CWO champion in 2013 and ’19, played her final 12 holes in 6 under par. Unfortunately for her, three straight bogeys on the front nine (3-5) kept her final-round score from being really low as she posted a 4-under 68, good for an 8-under total for three days. That gave her the $20,000 second prize.

With that, Huffer continued her remarkable run of top finishes at the Women’s Open. Since 

2008, Huffer has won the tournament twice, finished runner-up four times times and ninth once.

Huffer now has won $110,151 all-time in the Colorado Women’s Open, second only to 2022 champion Clariss Guce’s $113,055.

Champion Haylee Harford.

As for Harford, she earned the $100,000 first prize despite posting a 1-over-par 73 in the final round. Harford, a regular on the LPGA Tour last year, finished at 9 under par after posting a 66 on Wednesday and a 68 on Thursday.

Two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion-turned-pro Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, placed third, a stroke behind Huffer. Gerina Mendoza, a three-time U.S. representative in the Solheim Cup competition, was among those who shared fourth place at 6 under. Former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi followed up her eighth-place showing last year with a seventh-place finish on Friday.

Duke golfer Phoebe Brinker, from Wilmington, Del., took low-amateur honors at 2 under par (70-71-73). Ali Mulhall of Henderson, Nev., was second at 1 under, followed by two Coloradans: Katelyn Lehigh of Loveland (third among amateurs, 1 over par) and Emma Bryant of Aurora (fourth, 2 over).

Team Greenblatt — Molly Greenblatt of Denver and Mendoza — won the pro-am competition at 21 under par.

For all the scores from the Colorado Women’s Open, 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. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates