Hodgkins Named CGA Women’s Player of the Year
DENVER, Colo. — The Colorado Golf Association has named University of Colorado senior Kirsty Hodgkins the CGA Women's Player of the Year after an outstanding summer season of competition, which came about in an unusual way.
The Brisbane, Australia, native, was granted a fifth-year of eligibility by the NCAA due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hodgkins would normally return home for the summer months, but with travel restrictions and quarantine procedures, it was unknown if or when the senior would be able to return to the U.S. So she turned lemons into lemonade and spent the summer as a research assistant on campus and when the golf courses opened, she started practicing and playing tournaments when she could. With that time, she was able to play in several CGA events.
"I was thankful to be able to play golf this summer, especially during a pandemic," Hodgkins said. "I didn't know whether anything would be played but I was definitely glad we were able to get out there."
Hodgkins did quite well in a pair of tournaments hosted by the CGA, which helped to solidify her being named its women's player of the year. At the 73rd CGA Women's Stroke Play Championship, June 22-24, Hodgkins finished fourth overall. She completed the three-round event with a 7-over 220 (72-73-75) at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster, Colo. Hodgkins only finished three strokes back from the medalist, Aubri Braeckein, who carded a 217.
She shined at the 105th CGA Women's Match Play Championship, defeating former Buff Erin Kerr Houtsma, 4&3 in the 36-hole final for the title. Hodgkins became just the second Buff on the active CU roster to win the championship, joining Michelle Thomas who won in 1998.
"It meant a lot to win the match play championship, especially because it was an all-Buffs final," Hodgkins said. "It was really fun and a great challenge to go up against Erin."
Before she got to the match play portion of the championship, she won the stroke play part of the tournament, shooting a 7-under 65 at the 6,399-yard par 72 Saddleback Golf Course in Firestone, Colo. to earn the No. 1 seed. It was one of the best rounds of the season for her in the 2019-20 calendar season, which included seven birdies and one eagle.
Hodgkins was selected to compete at the 120th U.S. Amateur, August 3-9, in Rockland, Md. She advanced to the match play portion of the championship after finishing 48th in stroke play.
In the CGA points-race, Hodgins finished 400-points clear of second.
"I'm thrilled for Kirsty to receive the CGA women golf of the year award," CU head coach Anne Kelly said. "Over the course of her career here at the University of Colorado, she has worked very hard in school, golf and has been a tremendous representative for the University of Colorado. Due to Covid, Kirsty had not been able to go back home to Brisbane, Australia for over a year, which understandably is difficult. She made the best of her situation and had a fantastic summer here in Colorado highlighted by competing in the USGA Women's amateur and qualifying for the match play portion of that Championship. She capped off the summer by winning the Colorado Match Play event in a competitive final match with former Buff, Erin Kerr Houtsma.
"I look back on when we recruited Kirsty and how she impressed me by being such a tough competitor – that fact has never changed," Kelly said.
"I'm so proud Kirsty is a Buffalo and so happy she has received this well-deserved honor!"
According to Kelly, Hodgkins is the first Buffalo to earn this prestigious award.
"I had no idea I was the first Buff to win this honor," Hodgkins said. "It means a lot to me that I get to showcase how great our program is here at CU."