Malak Bouraeda Qualifies For 2022 U.S. Women’s Open
BOULDER — University of Colorado senior Malak Bouraeda took medalist honors at the 2022 Colorado Golf Association's U.S. Open Qualifier at the Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, on Tuesday.
Bouraeda shot a 1-under par, 143, at the 36-hole event to qualify for the 77th U.S. Women's Open, June 2-5, at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. She edged out Sky Sudberry of The Woodlands, Texas, and Maria Fernanda Lira Solis of Mexico by one stroke.
"It's absolutely insane," Bouraeda said. "It's the first USGA event that I've qualified for and to win it with only one spot going, it's really special."
Bouraeda shot 1-under, 71, on the first 18 holes – one of only four under par rounds for the entire field on the day. She was 5-under through 11 holes of the second round and held on for the win despite a triple bogey on No. 16 and bogey at No. 17. Bouraeda finished out with a par on No. 18 to finish even for the round.
"I hit the ball well today," Bouraeda said. "The first round should have been a lot better, I just didn't really make anything which was frustrating. The second round I started out really well with a few short birdie putts. I didn't convert any within the first three and I started getting frustrated. Then I don't really know what I did, but the putter kind of saved me on a few holes and I had a few birdies in six-hole stretch. Ball striking saved me a lot, I finally got the putter somewhat going in the second round."
Bouraeda is the third Colorado women's golfer to advance to the U.S. Women's Open through the CGA qualifier joining Jessica Wallace in 2014 and Robyn Choi in 2017 and 2018.
A native of Southlake, Texas, Bouraeda played 32 rounds for the Buffaloes as a senior in 2021-22, averaging 76.09 per round. She shot a season-low 68 in the second round of the PING/ASU Invitational on March 26. Tuesday's first round of 71 was her third-best 18-hole score this season.
"Very proud of Malak and excited for her to compete in the U.S. Open," Colorado head coach Anne Kelly said. "She didn't have her best spring semester this year, but she continued to work and toward the end, during the ASU event and at the Pac 12 Championship, her game started to come around. Malak kept working, even during the tough times. It's nice to see all that work and perseverance pay off for her."
Over four seasons at Colorado, Bouraeda has played in 107 rounds for the Buffaloes with three Top 5 finishes and four in the Top 10. As a junior in 2020-21, she led Colorado in stroke averaging during the spring (74.1) and earned honorable mention to the All-Pac-12 Conference team.
Bouraeda, who graduated just last week with her degree in Strategic Communication, is planning on returning for a super-senior year with the Buffaloes in 2022-23 while pursuing a masters degree.