BOULDER – Holy Family girls golf coach Heikke Nielsen had a vision when he dreamed up the Showcase Invitational.

On Monday at Boulder Country Club, it came to fruition, and in a big way.

“This was all about celebrating girls golf in Colorado,” he said. “There is such an emphasis on the big high school sports in Colorado, and these girls are the best of the best and are getting Division I scholarships and they need to be recognized. And that is why I put this event together to bring all of the best girls in the state when they are playing together in high school and that was the point and it worked out.”

If you want to know how good the field really was, you need look no further than the feature pairings: defending Class 5A champion Valor Christian, 4A champs Erie and 3A champions St. Mary’s Academy. And the headlining threesome of the day didn’t disappoint with Valor’s Brenna Higgins, Erie’s Logan Hale and SMA’s Maddy Bante going 1-2-3 in the individual chase.

“It was a lot of fun and we all went to Junior America’s Cup together and it was fun to reconnect,” said Higgins, whose even-par round of 72 was good for a two shot victory over Hale. “This is a really stacked field, and I am competitive and want to win all of the time.”

Higgins and her Valor Christian team that included Ella Scott, Bella Eide and Aja Blankenship rolled to a 15-shot victory in the team chase ahead of host Holy Family. Fossil Ridge, Erie and Windsor rounded out the top five.

The Eagles junior had five birdies on her medalist-winning card on Monday and none were bigger than 18th and final hole of the day. After a bogey on No.17 cut her two shot lead over Hale in half going to the final tee, Higgins crushed a drive right down the pipe and had just over 180 yards home, uphill to a back pin location.

After Hale, needing an eagle to force the issue, left her second shot on the front collar, Higgins stepped up and hit a perfect 6-iron 15-feet below the hole.

“I thought I might have been long there, but it turned out pretty good,” said Higgins, who would go on to two-putt for birdie. “It felt good when I hit it and knew it was a good shot. I was just hoping it was the right club.”

(Jon Yunt/Holy Family High School)

Hale fired a 2-over 74 and Bante – the defending 3A state champion – shot a 4-over 76.

In addition to the top teams in the state, Nielsen was also able to bring in some of the top individual talent as well — with players coming in from Aspen, Regis Jesuit, Mountain Vista and Littleton just to name a few.

“We’ve got the defending champions from 3A, 4A and 5A all battling it out and it’s fun to watch as they are all within two or three shots of one another,” said Nielsen, who young team stayed right in the mix to ultimately finish second. “I told our girls going in that we have a deep team, we may not have the top end talent right now, but our depth is unmatched for three or four players for sure.”


At Boulder C.C. (Par 72)

Team scores: Valor Christian 235, Holy Family 250, Fossil Ridge 253, Erie 254, Windsor 257, Prospect Ridge 264, Aspen 267, Ralston Valley 272, Littleton 285, St. Mary’s Academy 300, Timnath 311.

Individuals (Top 10): Brenna Higgins, Valor Christian 72; Logan Hale, Erie, 74; Maddy Bante, St. Mary’s Academy 76; Ava Hickey, Fairview, 79; Ella Scott, Valor Christian, 79; Hope Torres, Prospect Ridge, 80; Addison Hines, Ralston Valley, 80; Macy Kleve, Windsor, 80; Ellie Barry, Fossil Ridge 81; Abbi Beld, Fossil Ridge, 81; Acadia Curtis, Holy Family, 81.

(Jon Yunt/Holy Family High School)