close
close

No one better… until now

Lauren Lehigh and Katelyn Lehigh react after ending their play on the 18th hole and are tied for the lead during the second round of stroke play at the 2024 US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, 12 May , 2024. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Lauren and Katelyn Lehigh of Loveland share stroke play medal honors with another set of sisters at U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball; The match play starts on Monday

By Gary Baines – 12-05-2024

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is in its ninth year, and Loveland sisters Lauren and Katelyn Lehigh can trace their participation in the event (or its qualifiers) back to almost its beginning, even though they are only 23 and 20 years old old respectively.

Lauren first qualified for the Four-Ball in 2015, with then-Loveland High School teammate Aili Bundy, for the 2016 national championship. But they opted not to play in that year’s Four-Ball because the national event conflicted with the girls high school state tournaments.

In the fall of 2016, Lauren Lehigh teamed with her younger sister in the 2017 Four-Ball Qualifier, but they finished second in a qualifying tournament in which only one team advanced.

Nearly eight years later, the Lehighs are not only competing in the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, but they’re making some noise. In fact, the Colorado sisters — each winner of two individual high school titles at Loveland HS — split the medal winners after the 36-hole stroke play portion of the event.

The Lehighs birdied the final two holes — Lauren did the honors on the 17th hole at Oak Hills Country Club and Katelyn on the 18th — to finish off an improved 9-under-par 62 on Sunday. They left them behind for two days at the age of fourteen, as did Georgians Caroline and Catie Craig – another of six sisters in the field. Coincidentally, those two are also 23 and 20, with Caroline being the oldest.

So on Monday, the Lehighs will be among 32 teams entering match play in the quest for a national title. There’s still a long way to go, but one group of players with strong ties to Colorado has already won this national championship, as then-Colorado State University teammates Katrina Prendergast and Ellen Secor claimed the championship in 2018.

Lauren Lehigh just completed his college career at the University of New Mexico, while Katelyn is two seasons into her career at Fresno State. Lauren advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2022 US Women’s Amateur. Katelyn won an individual college title in September.

A potentially awkward situation was avoided Sunday involving another Colorado team competing in the Women’s Four-Ball. Erie’s Hadley Ashton and Logan Hale, who each won an individual girls 4A State High School title, were in the top 10 after Saturday’s opening round of the championship. Had they finished in the top 32, they would have advanced to Monday’s match play – and possibly beyond.

The complication for the two – who made it to the Four-Ball field after originally being alternates – is that they will compete Tuesday in the regional qualifier for the state high school tournament. And if a golfer doesn’t compete in the qualifier, he doesn’t compete in the state meet, which would have been strange for two recent state champions.

However, Ashton and Hale struggled to a better ball 73 on Sunday and finished one stroke out of a play-off for the final match play berths. Their total of 2-under 140 left them tied for 34th, ending their run at this American Women’s Four-Ball.

University of Colorado teammates Morgan Miller and Maria Eidhagen Harrouch (72-69) also failed to make match play.

Scores of teams with strong Colorado connections competing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball in San Antonio:

Advance to Match Play Round of 64

T1. Lauren Lehigh and Katelyn Lehigh

We were unable to advance to match play

Hadley Ashton and Logan Hale, Erie 67-73-140

CU teammates Morgan Miller and Maria Eidhagen Harrouch 72-69–141

For all scores CLICK HERE

About the writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sportswriter at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. Evans Scholar alumnus of the University of Colorado was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com