Bowser, Parks In Michigan Women’s Amateur Finals
Dearborn’s Elayna Bowser and Flushing’s Kerrigan Parks Meet for Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship at Western G&CC
REDFORD – Elayna Bowser of Dearborn and Kerrigan Parks of Flushing will face off Friday at 8 a.m. in the final match of the 102nd Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Western Golf & Country Club.
Bowser, a Loyola University of Chicago golfer, beat defending champion Aya Johnson of Muskegon and the University of Wisconsin 2 and 1 in the semifinals Thursday to earn her final spot.
Parks, a Marshall University golfer, beat No. 1 seed Sarah Shipley of Hastings and the University of Kentucky 3 and 2 in the other semifinal.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bowser, who is 21 and headed for her senior year at Loyola. “We played each other last year in match play and just had a great match. I remember I birdied 17, and she birdied 18 and I shot 68 and she shot 67 to beat me 1-up. I appreciate great golf and it was great golf. Hopefully we have another great match.”
Parks, 19 and leaving Saturday for her sophomore year at Marshall, felt the same way about the final matchup.
“I’m excited to play Elayna,” she said. “We’ve become good friends. It should be fun.”
Both golfers closed out their morning round of eight matches with strong play. Bowser beat Priscilla Harding of South Lyon and Michigan State 6 and 4, and Parks beat Notre Dame Prep standout Danielle Staskowski of Clarkston 4 and 3.
Both golfers also took leads early in their semifinal matches and stayed in front.
Bowser won holes 3 and 4 to take a lead she would not relinquish against Johnson.
“I felt good about my game, there was no sweating over the putter and I just played steady golf, middle of the fairway, middle of the green after I got the lead,” she said. “I knew she was a really good player obviously, but I think I’m a good player as well, so I just trusted my game and it worked.”
Parks made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole and never trailed against Shipley, who had earned the top seed as medalist in stroke play qualifying. She also rolled in a 25-footer for birdie at No. 15 to go 3-up with three holes remaining.
“I ended up being 2-under through 16 holes in the match, so really happy with that,” she said. “My putting helped me. I finally made a couple of birdies this week. Sarah made a few putts, too. It was a good match. I like being in the lead, having control and trying to make more birdies.”
Bowser is a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference golfer for Loyola, and last week played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Tennessee. She said winning the state championship would set her up for her college season.
“It would be a huge boost in confidence and help me have a great senior year,” she said. “It would mean a lot.”
Parks, the 2017 GAM Women’s Champion and a two-time Michigan Junior Amateur winner, said the state title would propel her career forward.
“It would give me confidence for my college season, and show the work I’ve put in on the game is paying off,” she said.
Results: The match play bracket is available at gam.org on the front page
About the GAM: Founded in 1919, the Golf Association of Michigan is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. The GAM, served by over 250 dedicated volunteers as well as staff, provides membership to 60,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 18 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at gam.org.