Colorado wins home event after car accident
Colorado proved it has true grit Saturday at the Heather Farr/CU Memorial Invitational, winning its home event after five players were involved in a multi-car accident the night before the final round. All five players escaped without serious injury, but three withdrew from the tournament.
“They’re all OK,” head coach Anne Kelly said. “They all walked away from it. Nobody went to the hospital. They definitely have the symptoms you have after a car wreck.”
Kelly would not comment further on the accident.
At first, Kelly did not plan on fielding a team in the final round, but juniors Emily Talley and Jessica Wallace – who also won the individual title – informed her shortly before tee off that they wanted to play. Each was cleared by a team trainer and hit fewer than 10 balls before heading out to contend with wind gusts of up to 25 mph at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie.
The three players in the accident who withdrew were sophomore Taylor Doyle – who was the fifth player in Colorado’s top 5 – and juniors Devin Dougherty and Meaghan Kari. Doyle had been in a tie for third after the first two rounds, and was the leading scorer for the Buffs.
Not only does the team title mark the second victory for the Buffs this season, but the 16-shot win over Colorado State is the largest margin of victory in program history. Colorado has finished in the top 3 as a team in all four tournaments played this season.
“Whether they played or not today, I’m really proud of those girls,” Kelly said. “They showed a lot of toughness and fortitude and team unity and all. It’s just a tough situation, and they just showed a lot of heart.”
Colorado got off to a strong start Friday despite thunderstorms in the area that caused two lightning delays. The team finished the first 36 holes at 14-over at 590 and took a five-shot lead into the final round.
Colorado State immediately began chipping away at that lead Saturday, getting to within two shots before the wind picked up. Colorado put the home-team advantage in play and left the field in the dust, ending at 15-over 303 for a 29-over 893 total.
Wallace recorded her best score in the final round, an even-par 72, to finish at 4-over 220 for a one-shot win individually. She began the day in a tie for eighth but climbed the leaderboard with steady play as the wind howled. Freshman Kristin Coleman was T-6 at 10-over 226 while Talley was 10th another shot back.
Freshman Jenny Coleman, Kristin’s twin sister, rounded out the Colorado team with a T-12 at 13-over 229.
“Really, Jenny Coleman was the key to all this today and the freshmen going out there knowing their score’s going to count no matter what,” Kelly said. “That’s a lot of pressure and for a freshman that’s even more pressure. I just couldn’t be more proud of her, she was really kind of the unsung hero in all of this. She and Kristin.”
Colorado State was at 45-over 909 while Fresno State was third at 52-over 916. Portland State and Northern Iowa finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Emily Roering, of Colorado State, was one shot behind Wallace at 5-over 221 while Fresno State’s Louisa Lies was solo third at 6-over 222.