In the Groove: Allyson Geer Repeats in the 100th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship
LINDEN – Allyson Geer said she got in a groove, and the groove helped her win a second consecutive Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship.
The 17-year-old from Brighton, who turns 18 Monday, turned back 19-year-old University of Michigan golfer Emily White of Saline, who turns 20 Monday, 5 and 4 in the championship match of the 100th edition of the state championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Spring Meadows Country Club Friday.
Despite two rain and weather delays, Geer reeled off four birdies in the 14 holes she played in the championship match. She also didn’t miss a single fairway thanks to one tree knocking her only wayward tee shot back in the fairway, and saved par on the two greens she missed in regulation.
“It is nice to get in a groove,” she said. “I just had a groove going, and my caddie, Nick (Park) kept helping me stay in the present and play just one shot at a time. We did a good job of that.”
Geer, who was the medalist and top seed while White was the second seed, is the first repeat champion since Laura Bavaird of Grosse Ile won in 2007 and ’08. Last year she was the youngest winner in the history of the championship. White, who had never played in a stroke play or match play event with Geer, said she was impressed.
“I didn’t’ play my best, but she played great and she deserved it,” White said. “She was definitely the better player today. It was very impressive watching her.”
Geer, who has one year of home-school remaining, is headed for Michigan State’s women’s golf team in 2014. She played the first two days of the championship in stroke play qualifying with MSU coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, and dedicated the win to her at the end of the trophy ceremony.
“I want to be the kind of woman and the kind of golfer she is one day,” Geer said.
Geer demonstrated some clear skills. She made a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 2 to go 1-up, took a 2-up lead at No. 7 when White had tree troubles and then reeled off three consecutive birdies around a rain delay at Nos. 9, 10 and 11. It was a six-footer for birdie at nine, a 20-footer from the fringe at No. 10 and a five-footer at the par 5 No. 11 hole that produced he crucial birdies.
Meanwhile, White played well but couldn’t get a putt to drop.
“My lag putting the second match (Thursday) and this match was just not very good,” she said. “Then when she made the birdies and I got down, I got aggressive and bad things can happen sometimes when you get aggressive.”
Tense, tight semifinal matches set up the final. Geer had to go the distance to top 17-year-old Nichole Cox of Empire 1-up in a morning semifinal to get to the championship match, and White had to go 19 holes to fend off 17-year-old Julia Dean of Brighton.
“It means the world to me to win this again,” Geer said. “It was an amazing week meeting all those past champions at the 100 years dinner, and playing with coach, and playing so well today in the championship match. I owe a lot to (caddie Nick Park) because he mapped out all the greens, and knew the spots I had to hit to for an uphill putt. I just had to hit the spots.”
RESULTS: Scores and the complete match play bracket is at www.gam.org
via Greg Johnson