(Cherry Hills Village, Colo.) – The Colorado PGA Women’s Championship title had eluded Sherry Andonian for the first three years of the tournament’s existence. During that time, she claimed two West Chapter Championship titles but couldn’t break through in the only women’s championship contested by the Colorado PGA. That all changed on Thursday as Andonian outlasted a late charge from two-time champion Alexandra Braga to claim victory.
“It feels great,” Andonian noted after the event. “I wanted it a little too badly, so I put a lot of pressure on myself.”
Andonian opened with a one-under-par 71 during the first round at Glenmoor Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. That was good enough for a two-shot lead over Tara Morris, the defending champion and Assistant Professional at The Country Club at Castle Pines. Tied for third after the first round was Braga, a PGA Assistant Professional at Denver Country Club, and Stefanie Ferguson, PGA, Instructor at Experience Golf.
During the final round, Braga mounted a methodical charge and pulled within one shot heading to the par-5 sixteenth hole. An errant tee-shot by Braga that found the penalty area created an opportunity for Andonian, the inaugural Colorado PGA Women’s Player of the Year in 2018.
“On 16, I didn’t hit a good drive but was in the middle of the fairway,” commented Andonian, Instructor at Valley Country Club. “I striped my three-wood to get up on the green and two-putted from there for birdie. She (Braga) made bogey, so that was a big two-shot swing right there.”
Braga wasn’t going to let that error impact the rest of the round. She hit her tee-shot at the difficult par-3 seventeenth to 12 feet and calmly rolled in her birdie putt, the only one of the day at the penultimate hole.
With the momentum swinging back in Braga’s direction, Andonian knew she had to play the last hole well to claim the title.
“After than, I figured I should just play for par on 18,” she noted. “After getting there in three, I had two putts for par and boy, that was a tough two-putt!”
Andonian mis-read the putt but was able to convert the two-and-a-half-foot putt for par to claim the one-stroke victory after Braga drained her birdie putt at the closing hole.
The title earned Andonian entry into the PGA of America’s Women’s Stroke Play Championship to be held in February.
“I feel confident and really like both courses at PGA National,” Andonian said of the championship. “I played well when I competed there at the Senior PGA Professional Championship last year and look forward to the opportunity.”
Following the conclusion of the first round, Colorado PGA Executive Director Eddie Ainsworth, PGA, announced the formation of a taskforce to guide the planning of future Women’s Championships. Committing to be a part of the task force were Tara Morris, Stefanie Ferguson and LPGA Professional Lauren Howe, who was recently inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.