Doing Colorado Proud

In a rarity, 2 Colorado residents, Leigha Devine and Lauren Lehigh, advance to the round of 32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur

By Gary Baines – 8/10/2022

Fourteen months ago, Leigha Devine of Windsor and Lauren Lehigh of Loveland squared off in the final of the 106th CGA Women’s Match Play. That title match ended up going 38 holes — two more than scheduled — before Devine prevailed at Colorado Golf Club.

Little did the two know it at the time, but they’re now in rarefied company together — both in the round of 32 at arguably the most prestigious women’s amateur golf tournament in the world, the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

To show how infrequent it is for two Colorado residents to advance to the round of 32 at the same U.S. Women’s Am, it hasn’t happened in at least 20 years — and very possibly much longer. 

Archives for the event on the USGA website go back through 2002, and in those two decades the only Colorado residents to make it to the round of 32 — or farther — are Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster (round of 16 in 2015), Kristin Walla of Aspen (round of 32 in 2010), Nicole Cutler of Cherry Hills Village (round of 32 in 2004) and Lindsay Hulwick — who went on to be the head coach of the University of Denver and University of Kansas women’s teams (round of 32 in 2003).

Leigha Devine (red cap) and Lauren Lehigh (white cap) at the finals of the 2021 CGA Women’s Match Play.

Of course, then-Coloradan Jill McGill won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1993 and finished second in ’94. Previous Coloradans to claim U.S. Women’s Am titles were Barbara McIntire (1964; she also won in 1959 while a Florida resident) and Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1946).

On Wednesday at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., Devine and Lehigh joined elite Colorado company by winning their round-of-64 matches. Devine, a Rutgers golfer who has won two CGA Women’s Match Plays and one CGA Women’s Stroke Play, defeated incoming Vanderbilt player Lynn Lim of Gallatin, Tenn., 2 and 1. Lehigh, a two-time girls state high school champion in Colorado who now competes for the University of New Mexico, beat University of North Carolina golfer Kayla Smith of Burlington, N.C., 3 and 2.

In Thursday’s round of 32, Devine will face Ohio State golfer Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Md., while Lehigh will play 13-year-old Anna Feng of San Diego.

Devine, who competed in the U.S. Women’s Open last year, never trailed on Tuesday as she went 1 over par for 17 holes. Lehigh likewise was never behind in her round-of-64 match, going 3 under for 16 holes.

Both the round of 32 and the round of 16 matches will be contested on Thursday. The action will be televised by Golf Channel from 5-8 p.m. (MT).

For all the scoring from the U.S. Women’s Amateur, CLICK HERE.