Narrowest of Margins

Host DU women can’t fend off 21st-ranked Cal as Pioneers finish 2nd — by 1 stroke — in Highlands Ranch; DU’s Anna Zanusso runner-up individually

By Gary Baines – 10/8/2023

When there are a couple of the nation’s top-25 teams on your heels — or even remotely close — you best be on your game if you want to win a golf tournament.

Perhaps that’s a lesson to come out of the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, which wrapped up on Sunday at the University of Denver Golf Club in Highlands Ranch.

The host Pioneers came into the final round with a 13-stroke lead, but next best was Cal, ranked 21st in the country among women’s golf teams by Golfweek. And a little further back was No. 7 Vanderbilt.

And while DU kept Vandy at bay, an 8-under-par final round by Cal proved problematic for the Pioneers, who after shooting 272-278 the first two days posted a 294 total on Sunday.

Add it up and Cal won the 54-hole event by a single stroke over Denver.

To add salt to the wound, after DU had two individuals sharing the lead through two rounds, it was Kansas’ Jordan Rothman, coached by former DU coach Lindsay Kuhle, who emerged the individual champion. She finished a stroke ahead of DU graduate student Anna Zanusso, who finished at 10 under par.

Zanusso, a three-time winner in her college career and a ninth-place finisher in the 2021 NCAA national championships, was one of five players with strong Colorado connections to place in the top 10 on Sunday. Joining her was University of Colorado sophomore Morgan Miller, a two-time Colorado Junior Match Play champ (third at 9 under par); Loveland resident and University of New Mexico golfer Lauren Lehigh, a two-time Colorado girls state high school champion (seventh at 6 under); DU golfer Katarina Drocarova (seventh at 6 under); and Aurora resident and DU player Emma Bryant, who posted the first top-10 individual finish of her college career (ninth at 5 under).

It was Morgan’s second straight top-three individual finish.

In the team standings, besides DU placing second, CU was eighth out of the 14 schools in the field.

For all the scores from the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, 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