Family Day

On same day that brother Jeff led CSU-Pueblo to a conference championship, Lily Nelson won Great American Conference individual title by a record 17 strokes; 4 Colorado teams set for men’s NCAA Div. II regionals

By Gary Baines – 4/28/2023

It’s been quite a golf week for the Nelson family in Commerce City.

On Tuesday, sophomore Jeff Nelson finished fourth individually in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament in Boulder City, Nev., and led his Colorado State University-Pueblo squad to its third consecutive RMAC team championship.

On the same day, Jeff’s younger sister, freshman Lily Nelson, cruised to a 17-stroke victory — you read that right — in the women’s Great American Conference tournament in Hot Springs, Ark. And she led her Arkansas-based Henderson State program to a 50-stroke victory in the team standings, giving the Reddies their third straight GAC title.

Nelson, a semifinalist in last year’s CGA State Junior, posted rounds of 71-67-72 for a 6-under-par 210 total at Hot Springs Country Club. The GAC Freshman of the Year set a GAC tournament record for individual margin of victory. Her 6-under tally was also a record for the event.

The conference title marked the first college victory for Nelson, a Prairie View High School graduate who has posted six top-10 finishes this season, including five in a row.

Henderson State is ranked No. 6 in the nation among NCAA Division II women’s golf teams.

For all the scores from the women’s GAC Championships, CLICK HERE.

(Updated May 1: Henderson State went on to be named the No. 1 seed in the women’s NCAA Division II Central Regional that will be played May 8-10 in Larchwood, Iowa. Also making the women’s DII regionals — but in their case in Dallas for the West Regional on the same dates — will be Colorado Christian University (seeded ninth) and RMAC champion CSU-Pueblo (seeded 11th). The top four teams from the West Regional and top three from the Central Regional — plus top two individual finishers not on those teams at each site — will advance to the women’s DII national championships, set for May 16-20 in Eureka, Mo.)

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, another Coloradan, Jessica Mason of Westminster, led Pomona-Pitzer to a title in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team championship. Mason (71-70-73) placed third individually. Pomona-Pitzer is ranked sixth in the country in NCAA Division III women’s golf. (May 1 Update: Mason and her Pomona-Pitzer team is seeded sixth out of 29 schools for the NCAA Division III national championships, scheduled for May 9-12 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.)

— 4 Colorado Teams & 2 Individuals from Mines Make Men’s Division II Regionals: Meanwhile, on Friday the NCAA announced the men’s NCAA Division II regional lineups and the seedings. 

Four Colorado-based teams — Colorado Christian (seeded fourth in the South Central Region), RMAC champion CSU-Pueblo (fifth), Colorado Mesa (sixth) and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (ninth) — will send teams to the South Central/West Regional that will be played May 11-13 in Rohnert Park, Calif.

In addition, two players from Colorado School of Mines — Lukas Taggart and Max Lange — will compete as individuals in Rohnert Park.

From each regional site, at least the top three team finishers and the top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the DII national championships, set for May 22-26 in Warren, Ohio.

The fields and seedings for the women’s DII regionals will be announced on Monday.

For all the fields for the men’s DII regionals, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates