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September 12-13 — Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic at Fort Collins, Colo.
September 25-26 — Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational at Albuquerque, N.M.
October 3-5 — Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational at Sammamish, Wash.
October 21-23 — Mercedes-Benz SEC/Pac-12 Challenge at Knoxville, Tenn.
February 5-7 — Wildcat Invitational at Tucson, Ariz.
February 13-15 — Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
February 26-28 — All State Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La.
March 16-18 — Fighting Irish Spring Invitational at Scottsdale, Ariz.
March 26-27 — Anuenue Spring Break Challenge at Maui, Hawai’i
April 27-28 — Pac-12 Conference Championships at Pullman, Wash.
May 10-12 — NCAA West Regional at Erie, Colo.
May 23-26 — NCAA Championships at Franklin, Tenn.
Most golfers cringe at the thought of a bogey or worse. But the Colorado women’s golf team endured a different kind of adversity last year.
After the first two rounds of the Heather Farr Memorial Invitational in Erie, five players were involved in a multi-car accident while leaving the course.
On that day in October, sophomore Taylor Doyle and juniors Devin Dougherty and Meaghan Kari suffered concussions and withdrew from the rest of the tournament. The Buffs’ top golfers Emily Talley and Jessica Wallace weren’t injured, but were shaken by the accident and decided not to continue.
After leading the first two rounds, the Buffs didn’t have enough players to compete. But Wallace called coach Anne Kelly the next morning in tears and told her she had to play.
“She’s a real competitor and I can’t say enough about her work ethic,” said Kelly, who spent six years on the LPGA tour and will coach her 15th season at CU.
Soon, Talley called and said she too wanted to play for the team, but that her shoes were stuck in the wrecked vehicle. This summer, Talley played for the United States at the World University Games in China.
Lucky for Colorado, Talley and Kelly wore the same shoe size, and both were cleared by medical personnel to play.
In the end, Wallace shot an even-par 72 to win the tournament, and the team won by 16 strokes, the largest margin in program history.
“We get along well because we are all driven to reach the same goals as a team,” Wallace said in an email after winning the Canadian Women’s Tour Ontario event in June. “Everyone is going to continue to push each other to become better players because we are all such competitive people.”
The team went on to finish 18th at NCAA Regionals, ending the season ranked 31st nationally. This year, they’ll play at a score of new courses in the Pac-12, but Kelly returns her full team and adds sophomore transfer Alex Stewart and freshman Gina Larson.
“The Pac-12 is the best golf conference in the country,” said Kelly. “The SEC-Pac-12 challenge is one of the toughest fields we’ve ever seen. We should have a highly-experienced team and a very motivated team.”
The CU women’s golf program started in 1994, and has a rare coaching history. Just two head coaches have led the Buffs in 18 seasons.
Only two Colorado golfers have shot hole-in-ones during tournament play: Jolene Fellhauer at the 2003 Big 12 Championships, and Lynn Ann Moretto at the 1999 Ram Fall Classic. Senior Jessica Wallace shot a hole-in-one this summer at the Canadian Women’s Tour Ontario event in June. Wallace went on to win the tournament.
Coach Anne Kelly will coach her 15th season for the Buffaloes. Kelly spent six years on the PGA tour after a successful collegiate stint at Texas Christian University.
CU hosts two tournaments every year, the Heather Farr Memorial and the MountainView Collegiate. Heather Farr was a friend of head coach Kelly who was diagnosed with breast cancer. This season marks the first in Kelly’s time at CU that the team hasn’t hosted either competition because the Buffs are focusing their energy on hosting the NCAA Regional tournament,
CU alumnus from 2002 Erin (Kerr) Houstma played professionally on both the Futures Tour and the Cactus Tour. Several other alumni are teaching professionals at golf clubs, but none have played on the LPGA since the program is only 15 years old.
If you can only make one game…
Trek to Erie to watch the NCAA Regional event hosted by the Buffs. You’ll get to see the Colorado women (and a slew of other schools) at the peak of their season. It’s also a chance to see history as the Buffs work to qualify for the team’s first NCAA Championship appearance in school history.