Skip to main content

CU Opens Season At The Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic

Sep 8, 2013

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The University of Colorado women’s golf team opens the 2013 season at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic here on Monday and Tuesday.

Two years removed from the best season in school history, last year an extremely young CU squad showed signs good things ahead with four top 10 finishes and one of the best individual seasons in CU history from senior Jenny Coleman.

“We are a much more experienced team,” Kelly said. “Last season we played three or four freshmen in every event. The transition from high school golf and junior golf is a big jump. The courses are longer, there are more quality players and there is the added pressure of representing your university.

“Our team, especially the sophomores, made tremendous improvement from last year from fall to spring. They listened, worked and implemented the changes needed to help improve their games.”

Kelly credits assistant coach Brent Franklin, entering his 12th year with the Buffs, as a big reason for the improvement of the team in the latter part of last year’s schedule. She calls Franklin a highly talented instructor that the program is extremely fortunate to have.

That improvement also went into the team members’ individual performances over the summer. Most recently, sophomore Allie Zech and Coleman both participated in the USGA Women’s Amateur. Earlier this summer, sophomore Jamie Oleksiew won the British Columbia Junior Championship and participated in the Canadian Amateur and Canadian Junior. Sophomores Megan Haase and Alex Keating placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Washington State Amateur. Haase and Zech also stood out academically last season, earning Academic All-American honors.

“Jamie and Allie played in several events this summer with good success,” Kelly said. “Megan and Alexis also played a few tournaments and put in some hard work over the summer.”

Colorado hopes to use this experience to its benefit this season. The Buffs return six of seven student-athletes from last year’s squad, and welcome three freshmen.

Of the returnees, Coleman looks to put the caps on one of the best careers in CU history and has the potential to be one of the best players in most tournaments. Last season, she won the Dick McGuire Invitational in a record-setting performance and ended her season in the top five of most season records in the books. Already pushing for several school records, another full season will make her the most decorated athletes in program history.

“Jenny has continued to improve every year and has become one of the top players in college golf,” Kelly said. “She is a very smart and determined athlete, and I look for her to put herself in contention to win more tournaments this year. Kristin Coleman struggled a bit last season, but she has hung in there and has been playing well in practice - she looks ready to go this year. Jenny and Kristin are talented players and I would love to see them finish up their careers at CU on a highly successful, positive note.”

Also returning are Keating, Haase, Oleksiew and Zech, all true sophomores with valuable experience that not many freshmen nationwide were afforded a season ago.

The quartet ranked second through fifth in stroke average behind Jenny Coleman a season ago and all played in at least 23 rounds on the season. Keating’s stroke average of 76.8 and Oleksiew’s mark of 77.0 both rank in the top eight in CU history for freshman stroke average.

Two Colorado natives and one Californian join the team. Claudia Davis, from Greenwood Village, Colo., was a three year letter-winner at Arapahoe, where she won a Colorado State Championship as a freshman. She holds the school record for lowest round in a tournament with a 69. Victoria “Tori” Glenn (Castle Pines, Colo.) was a former state champion gymnast before an injury helped lead her to golf. At Valor Christian, Glenn and the Eagles won three straight Colorado High School 4A Regional Championships and back-to-back 4A State Championships in her final two seasons. Oceanside, Calif. native Natalie Vivaldi rounds out the group. At Rancho Buena Vista, Vivaldi was a two-time first-team All-CIF San Diego Section selection, and individual qualifier to the CIF Southern California Regionals in 2011 and ’12 and won the 2011 Merced High School Girls Golf Invitational.

“Our three freshmen are working very hard and making progress quickly,” Kelly said. “Although they are not playing in the first event, they are raring to go. We have nine competitive players on this team and everyone is working to make the top five traveling positions. I believe the inter squad competition will make everyone a better player.”

That competition is important in a long season that can be full of ups and downs and unpredictability.

“We have high expectations for the season, but it is a long season and we have to take it a tournament, a day, a shot at a time,” Kelly said. “If we take care of the details, meaning working every day to improve weaknesses, playing with confidence and learning to accept the good and bad bounces - the results will take care of themselves. Golf is a hard sport to predict – even the best players in the world can win one week and miss the cut the next week.”

The Buffs once again will put themselves in position to make a splash nationally because of the schedule put on the books. After the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic, the Buffs head to New Mexico for the Dick McGuire Invitational, where they’ve shown some success in recent years. The always tough Edean Ihlandfelt Invitational in Sammamish, Wash., and the Pac-12 Fall Preview in Hawaii close out a tough fall season.

The spring season opens up at Stanford’s Peg Barnard Invitational before the Buffs partake in the Bruin Wave Invitational for the first time before seeing familiar settings both at the Clover Cup and Anuenue Spring Break Challenge in March. The Buffs will host their first event in more than two years in a brand new tournament in Napa, Calif., in April. Co-hosted with Oregon, the Silverado Showdown will commence on April 14-15 to close out the regular season. The Pac-12 Championships will be hosted by Oregon State in late April before the NCAA Regionals and Championships taking place in May.

Jenny and Kristin Coleman, Zech, Keating and Oleksiew will all lead the Buffs in the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic, with Haase competing as an individual. Monday’s first round gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with the second round to follow in the afternoon and the event concluding with the third and final round on Tuesday.

“It will be good to put all the practice into action,” Kelly said. “The team is familiar with the course, Ptarmigan Country Club. We talk about one shot at a time and staying focused on the present – that is what any golfer needs to do to be successful. I think our team has an excellent opportunity to do well in this event if we can stay focused on the task at hand, make intelligent on course decisions and play with confidence.”