U.S. Senior Women’s Open champ Jill McGill and LPGA Tour veteran Gerina Mendoza headline field for Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open at GVR, which has had more than its share of rain lately

By Gary Baines – 6/12/2023

A month ago, Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in northeast Denver was in no shape to host the Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open.

Massive amounts of rain left GVR in sad shape — and certainly in no position to immediately hold the most lucrative women’s state open in the country, one in which the winner earns $100,000 out of a total purse of $250,000. Matt Bryant, the PGA general manager at GVR, reported that in the 30 days from May 10 until Friday, a whopping 10.22 inches of rain fell at the course. “Off the charts,” he noted in a text.

But in the wake of about $50,000 spent on repairing turf and irrigation damage, the course that abuts wetlands will host the CWO, which is set for Wednesday through Friday. Perhaps the most noticeable result left from the flooding is a replacement bridge on the 17th hole.

A strong field that includes numerous tour pros and top amateurs will tee it up in the 54-hole event which features a pro-am format not unlike the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour.

Among the biggest names set to compete are Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Jill McGill, winner of three USGA championships, including last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open; and Gerina (Piller) Mendoza, who has recorded 40 top-10s on the LPGA Tour and played in three Solheim Cups. A year ago, Mendoza finished sixth in the Lotte Championship. She placed 14th at the 2022 Colorado Women’s Open, while McGill missed cut cut despite a second-round 68.

Also scheduled to play at GVR are two-time champion — and former LPGA Tour player — Becca Huffer of Monument; 2022 CWO runner-up Brittany Fan, a former University of Colorado golfer; 2021 champ and recent Epson Tour winner Savannah Vilaubi;  Robyn Choi, another former CU golfer, who has 12 career top-10s to her credit on the Epson Tour, including each of the last two weeks; and Clariss Guce, the defending champion. Kristen Gillman, winner of the 2014 and ’18 U.S. Women’s Amateur, also will tee it up. For the record, Gillman defeated current LPGA standout Brooke Henderson in the 2014 final.

Leigha Devine of Windsor, winner of three of the last four CGA women’s major championships, is among the prominent amateurs in this week’s event.

The Colorado Women’s Open normally is held very early in June, but this year it’s being moved back on the calendar to avoid conflicting with an event on the Epson Tour as quite a few Epson players compete in the CWO.

For the field for the Colorado Women’s Open, 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