Ohioan Haylee Harford opens 3-stroke lead in Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open; Coloradan Becca Huffer, former CU golfer Robyn Choi tied for 6th place going into final round
By Gary Baines – 6/15/2023
Coloradans have won the Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open twice in the last four years, but if they want to make it three times in five years, they’ll need a big final-round rally.
With Haylee Harford of Leavittsburg, Ohio, a regular on the LPGA and Epson Tours in recent years, grabbing a three-stroke lead on Thursday at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, the closest Coloradan is six strokes behind heading into Friday’s last round.
That closest local is two-time CWO champion Becca Huffer of Monument, who backed up her first-round 66 with a 2-over-par 74 on Thursday. After a three-birdie, five-bogey day, Huffer stands at 4 under par, in a tie for sixth place. Also at that figure is former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi (68-72), who has recorded consecutive top-10 finishes on the Epson Tour in the last two weeks.
With $100,000 on the line for the professional winner on Friday, Harford had an eventful day in carding a 68 on Thursday. She made an eagle on No. 12 and a double bogey at No. 8 to go along with six birdies and two bogeys. After a 66 on day 1, Harford owns a 10-under-par total.
Harford played full time on the LPGA Tour last year, with a best finish of 17th. This year’s she’s been a regular on the Epson Tour, where the former Furman golfer notched a fifth-place showing late last month.
Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., another Epson Tour regular, is Harford’s closest pursuer, trailing by three in her first CWO after rounds of 65-72.
A couple of notable names are tied with Huffer and Choi in sixth place: LPGA Tour veteran Gerina Mendoza (70-70) and two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion-turned-pro Kristen Gillman (71-69).
Notable: Two-time 5A state high school individual champion Katelyn Lehigh, from Loveland, sits second in the low-amateur standings after a second-round 70 left her at 2 under par overall. Lehigh, who plays her college golf at Fresno State, made four birdies and two bogeys on Thursday. Leading the amateurs by one after two days is Duke golfer Phoebe Brinker of Wilmington, Del. (70-71). … Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Jill McGill, winner of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2022, missed the 36-hole cut on Thursday after posting rounds of 74-76. Two-round totals of 4 over par or better were needed to advance to Friday’s final round.
For all the scores from the Colorado Women’s Open, CLICK HERE.