Second Best

Coloradan Lauren Lehigh finishes runner-up at Mountain West Conference tournament for second time in her career; CSU places third in team standings

By Gary Baines – 4/18/2024

Lauren Lehigh of Loveland and the University of New Mexico has contended for individual titles at multiple college tournaments over her career, but an outright victory has eluded her.

Another such occasion came on Thursday as she entered the final round of the women’s Mountain West Conference Championship with a two-stroke lead. Alas, a stellar, bogey-free round of 6-under-par 66 by San Jose State’s Kajsa Arwefjall in Rancho Mirage, Calif., prevented Lehigh from breaking through for outright college victory No. 1.

Lehigh closed with a 71 for second place, three strokes behind Arwefjall

It marks the third time in four appearances at the MWC meet that Lehigh has finished second or third. She was also second in 2021, when she lost in a playoff, and she placed third in 2022. (Last year, she finished 11th.)

So now Lehigh, a fifth-year golfer, will have only one or two more opportunities to record an individual college victory — the NCAA Regionals or national championships.

Lehigh, a two-time state high school individual champion in Colorado, made two birdies and a bogey in her final round and ended up at 6 under par for three days. She went 70-69-71 at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club. For the tournament overall, she recorded eight birdies and two bogeys.

Lehigh, a quarterfinalist in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur, is ranked No. 81 in the nation’s NCAA Division I women’s ranks, according to Scoreboard Powered by Clippd.

Thursday marks Lehigh’s fifth top-10 finish of this season — and third top-3. It should be noted that Katelyn Lehigh of Fresno State, Lauren’s younger sister and also a two-time state high school champion, finished 38th individually on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in the MWC team race, the 2023 champion New Mexico Lobos placed fourth in the nine-team field. Colorado State, which has won a program-record three team titles this season, placed third, 19 strokes behind champion San Jose State. 

CSU placed two players in the top 10 individually — Andrea Bergsdottir (fifth place) and Panchalika Arphamongkol (ninth). Bergsdottir, who’s concluding her college career at CSU this spring, ran her remarkable streak of individual top-10s in college tournaments  to eight.

For all the results from the women’s MWC Championships, 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