Colorado Women's Stroke Play: Battle of ages

DENVER, Co. (June 29, 2011) -- The fact that her playing partners at the CWGA Stroke Play Championship were a fraction of her age was not lost on Janet Moore Wednesday.

Moore is only 46, but the two competitors above her on the leaderboard after two rounds at Cherry Creek Country Club are a 21-year-old and a 15-year-old.

“I told Kent (her husband and caddie), ‘I’m playing with somebody a third my age,’” Moore related. “He said, ‘No honey, she’s less than a third your age.’ I was like, ‘thank you very much.’”

Moore, a five-time CWGA Stroke Play champion, will see if she can overtake the young-uns in Thursday’s third and final round of the tournament. Brooke Collins of Louisville, a former state high school champion and current University of Oklahoma golfer, increased her lead to three strokes on Wednesday over 15-year-old Calli Ringsby, a sophomore-to-be at Cherry Creek High School, and is five ahead of Moore.

Collins, sister of 2009 CWGA Match Play champion Chelsey Collins, shot a 2-over-par 74 on Wednesday and stands at 1-over 145 overall. Ringsby, runner-up in the 5A state high school meet last month, made a double bogey on her 16th hole Wednesday en route to a 75 and a 148 total. Moore carded a 76 to come in at 150. The only other player within eight strokes of the lead is reigning 4A state high school champion Lindsay McGetrick (81-71--152).

“It’s the Colorado Women’s Stroke Play and I’ve always wanted this title,” said Collins, the 5A state high school champ in 2007. “I feel like I’m going to put some pressure on myself and pretend like it’s a big college tournament. … Overall I like the position I’m in, so I can’t complain.”

Collins, winner of the 2006 CWGA Junior Stroke Play, has used her length off the tee to good advantage at Cherry Creek Country Club, making six birdies and seven bogeys in two days. “I’m a long-ball hitter so I feel like I drive over everything that gets a lot of other people in trouble, so that’s definitely an advantage,” she said. “I’m just going to hit it long and straight tomorrow and see what happens.”

Despite her young age -- and a three-stroke deficit -- Ringsby believes she’s well within striking distance of a victory Thursday.

“I think I’m in a good position; it’s not too far behind,” said Ringsby, who’s part of a family who once owned the Denver Rockets, who later became the Denver Nuggets. “I think it’s probably easier to be chasing than to sleep with the lead. Hopefully I can get it done.

“I’m not gun-shy. I’m not afraid. I think I can be aggressive and play my way up instead of down.”

Ringsby could have been closer to Collins, but on the par-5 16th hole Wednesday she went for the green in two, ended up on the edge of a fairway bunker, pulled her third into a hazard and ended up with a double bogey.

“I wasn’t really comfortable with going for it; it was a mental error on my part,” she said. “I should have just laid up. I was in a bad position. I think I could have saved myself two shots or maybe three.”

As for Moore, she’s going for her first CGA Stroke Play title since 1997, though she tied for second last year with Collins. And she figures if all aspects of her game fire on the right cylinders on Thursday, she could come back to win.

“It’s possible, because it’s golf,” she said. “I definitely thinks it’s doable. Brooke and Calli are playing great, so it won’t be an easy task, but you have to think optimistically.

“The golf ball doesn’t know how old you are. It’s like, ‘just get it in the hole.’”

Collins, Ringsby and Moore will tee off Thursday at 11:57 a.m.

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