Brighton’s Allyson Geer Medalist for Third Consecutive Year at Michigan Women’s Amateur
LINDEN – The Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship has become Allyson Geer’s favorite tournament of the year, and not just because she won last year and has earned qualifying medalist honors for three consecutive years.
Geer, 17, shot a 2-under 70 Tuesday for a 1-under 143 two-day total, and earned the No. 1 seed as medalist for the start of match play Wednesday in the 100th edition of the state championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Spring Meadows Country Club.
“It’s the state championship, I get to play in Michigan and I love match play,” she said. “I didn’t like it at first, but it fits my game really well because I’m an aggressive player and it just suits me to play that way. I go out there and try to get the best out each hole and stay in the match. Last year a lot of my matches went extra holes, and I had to come through. It’s a lot of fun and rewarding.”
Geer finished one shot ahead of University of Michigan golfer Emily White of Saline, who shot 71 for 144 and the second seed.
Jacqueline Setas, a Michigan State University golfer from East Lansing who shot 74, and Morgan Smith, an Oakland University golfer from Muskegon, who shot 73, were next at 148.
Dearborn and Loyola University Chicago golfer Elayna Bowser, the first-round leader, followed up her 69 with an 80 for 149 where she was joined by University of Wisconsin golfer Aya Johnson of Muskegon, who shot 73, and Western Michigan University golfer Kaitlyn Watkins of Frankenmuth, who shot 70.
Geer, who played the back nine first in the second round, said her iron play was improved in round two, and she turned in one of her best shots of the summer on the par 5 No. 6 hole on the way in.
“I had 190 to the green on my second shot, and I took my 5-iron and was able to sling it around with a huge draw around the trees and on to the green,” she said. “That was exciting to pull that off and make birdie.”
Geer, who has a year left of home school before joining Michigan State’s women’s program in 2017, feels her game is coming to together for match play.
“Being medalist is good for confidence,” she said. “You want a good seed and everything, but it is great knowing my game, even when it’s not the best it can be, is still good enough to compete and is ready to take on match play.”
Geer was paired with her future college coach, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, a two-time state champion who shot 74 for 151 and a tie for ninth over the two days.
“That was so much fun playing with coach,” she said. “It was nice talking back and forth, and watching her play, the way she plays the course, how smart she plays it. I learn so much from her. She is very level, has one face and is very competitive out there while still having fun. I wouldn’t want to play for any other coach. I can’t wait to play for her.”
White, who is 19 and has the same birthday as Geer (Aug. 15), will be a junior at Michigan in the fall. She feels like her game is coming together at the right time, too.
“I played a lot better than yesterday – I just wasn’t making as many putts, which was a little frustrating,” she said. “I feel like I can put it all together. I do like match play, even though I haven’t played a lot of it.”
White, who has stuck to a pre-tournament game plan the first two days, doesn’t think she will change strategy for match play.
“Today told me don’t change because I had a lot of birdie chances,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of pars so far, and pars can be good in match play. It puts pressure on the other player, so I think I will do what has been working.”
The 36-hole cut to the low 32 scorers for match play fell at 158. Natalie Johnson of Clinton Township won the final spot in a three-golfer playoff for the last spot with a par 4 on No. 9.
Johnson as the 32 seed meets Geer at 8 a.m. off No. 1 tee Wednesday. The “Sweet 16” will be determined with one round of matches. The round of 16 and quarterfinal matches are Thursday, and semifinal and final matches Friday.
SCORES: Complete results and the match play bracket can be found at www.gam.org
via Greg Johnson