Local College Roundup

Connor Jones of Westminster notches his 10th top-5 finish at CSU; only Martin Laird has more in program history. Lehigh sisters from Loveland both place in top 13 in Hawaii after being paired in final round

By Gary Baines – 3/19/2024

Connor Jones started the college golf season with three consecutive top-10 individual finishes — including his fifth college victory — but the Westminster resident and Colorado State player had hit a bit of a drought in the last six months.

But the fifth-year golfer started to return to form this week at the Pauma Valley (Calif.) Invitational as the men ’s 2022 CGA Player of the Year tied for fifth place out of an 84-man field that included the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt.

Jones, who will conclude his college career later this spring, posted scores of 68-70-70 for a 5-under-par total at Pauma Valley, which left him four strokes behind winner Jonas Baumgartner of Oklahoma State.

Jones, who advanced to the round of 32 at last year’s U.S. Amateur, carded three birdies and two bogeys in Tuesday’s final round. 

This week marked the 12th individual top-5 college finish for Jones — 10 in three seasons at CSU after two in two years at the University of Denver. The only player in CSU men’s golf history with more top 5s is Martin Laird (17). Former Ram Davis Bryant, like Jones, has 10 top-5s to his credit. 

As a team, CSU finished ninth out of 15 schools.

For all the scores from Pauma Valley, CLICK HERE.

Also this week:

— Katelyn and Lauren Lehigh, sisters from Loveland competing for different college teams, finished ninth and 13th, respectively, on Tuesday in the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational on Kauai in Hawaii, where they were paired for the final round.

The Lehighs are both two-time state high school individual champions in Colorado. Katelyn is a sophomore at Fresno State and Lauren a fifth-year player at New Mexico.

Katelyn recorded her second top-10 of the season — she won a tournament in September — by ending up at 4 under par for three rounds (71-70-71). Lauren played the final 13 holes of the event in 3 under to check in at 2 under overall (72-71-71).

For all the scores from Hawaii, CLICK HERE.

— The University of Northern Colorado’s Louise Dahl placed second individually Sunday at the Red Rocks Invitational in Sedona, Ariz., ending up a stroke behind champion Emily Romancew of Northern Illinois. Dahl, a sophomore from Denmark, went 73-72-69 for a 2-under-par total. For all the scores from Sedona, 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