Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton wins CGA Women’s Senior Match Play to set career mark for CWGA/CGA women’s championship victories
By Gary Baines – 7/21/2022
If a long wait makes achieving a goal all the sweeter, Kim Eaton surely is savoring the culmination of a quest on Thursday.
The Colorado Golf Hall of Famer set a record for career CGA women’s/CWGA championships with her victory at the CGA Women’s Senior Match Play at Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder.
Colorado win No. 26 came four years after No. 25 — an unusual length of time for a woman who has earned so many championship trophies over the years. Even more painful has been the fact that Eaton had finished second in each of her last five CGA women’s senior majors before this week’s.
But she snapped that run of near misses on Thursday with a 4-and-3 victory over part-time Gunnison resident Marilyn Hardy in the finale of the Senior Match Play. It was Eaton’s second straight win over Hardy, the 2020 CGA Women’s Senior Stroke Play champ, as Eaton also defeated the Dos Rios golfer 3 and 2 on Wednesday in the final day of pod play in the event, which featured a four-person championship field.
“I was always kind of thinking that it might not (happen),” Eaton said of hitting No. 26. “It’s just like, ‘Who knows?’ I just wasn’t sure, but I was going to keep trying.”
Thursday’s victory moved Eaton out of a tie for most CWGA/CGA women’s titles with fellow Hall of Famer Carol Flenniken, who earned 25 during an illustrious amateur career that also included victories in the U.S. Girls’ Junior, the British Ladies Amateur, the Women’s Collegiate Championship, the Women’s Trans-Miss and the Women’s Western Amateur.
Eaton, who was born in Greeley and lived much of her life in the area but now resides in Mesa, Ariz., had won her last CGA women’s title in 2018 when she teamed with Hall of Famer Janet Moore to capture the Brassie two-person team championship.
Eaton’s rundown of 26 CWGA/CGA women’s titles runs the gamut: four Stroke Plays, one Match Play, five Senior Stroke Plays, five Senior Match Plays, one Junior Match Play, seven Brassies, one Mashie, one Chapman and one Mixed. She also owns 19 state titles in Arizona and one in California, so reaching 50 overall isn’t out of the question.
“It feels great,” Eaton said of setting the Colorado women’s record. “And I’m glad I did it in an individual (championship). I always wanted to do it in an individual rather than a team event. So I was happy. I haven’t been playing very well, but I played pretty well all week this week. And I beat Marilyn twice, which is pretty good.”
And, Eaton said, the fact that she’s set the record won’t keep her from continuing to compete in CGA championships. Remaining on her schedule in 2022 are the Brassie Championship (with Molly Steffes) and the Senior Stroke Play, both in late August/early September. Before then, Eaton will tee it up in Alaska at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, where she’s been a quarterfinalist four times.
“I’m really a Colorado person at heart,” said Eaton, a former pro golfer and former police officer who will turn 63 in a couple of weeks. “Colorado is my home state basically. It took me six decades to do this (in the state).”
In Thursday’s championship match against Hardy — a veteran of more than 40 USGA championships — Eaton never lost a hole and won Nos. 3, 9 and 10 with pars before going 4 up on No. 12 with a birdie. The players then tied the last three holes of the match with pars.
For all the results from the CGA Women’s Senior Match Play and Net Match Play Championships, CLICK HERE. Winners in the Net Match Play were Jane Ford of Hyland Hills (first flight), Leanna Rosenow of West Woods (second flight) and Darlene Evans of West Woods (third flight).