Chipman Leads Michigan Women’s Amateur
Canton’s Katie Chipman Sets Pace Again in Michigan Women’s Amateur
REDFORD – For the second consecutive year Canton’s Katie Chipman has set the first-round pace in the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship.
The 20-year-old junior-to-be at Grand Valley State University, who was runner-up to Aya Johnson of Muskegon in last year’s championship, shot a 2-under 70 Monday in the 102nd edition of the Amateur being presented by Carl’s Golfland at Western Golf & Country Club.
Elayna Bowser of Dearborn, a Loyola University of Chicago golfer fresh off playing in last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and Sarah Shipley, a University of Kentucky golfer from Hastings, were next with 72s as just three golfers finished par or better on the Donald Ross-designed course.
Chelsea Collura of Riverview, a 24-year-old assistant manager at Nuggett Leasing in Flat Rock, shot 73.
Nichole Cox, a Bowling Green State University golfer from Empire, and Mia Sooch of South Lyon, a 15-year-old Farmington Mercy High School golfer and Catholic League champion, shot 74s.
The field of 80 golfers plays 18 more holes of stroke play Tuesday to determine the low 32 scorers and seeds to fill out the match play bracket. Match play starts Wednesday and continues through Friday to determine a champion.
Chipman said she is playing this year with a different thought
“Last year I had never reached the Sweet 16 before and I ended up going all the way to the finals,” she said. “I didn’t really have a plan for what happened. This year I’m trying not to think about it being a five-day tournament. I want to take it day-by-day. It’s just a two-day stroke play tournament right now. I’m focusing on that.”
Chipman made six birdies in her round, highlighted by reaching the par 5 No. 5 hole with a 232-yard 5-wood shot to five feet and making birdie. She also made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18, her ninth hole of the day, after hitting what she called a poor wedge shot to the green.
“Last year helps me in just having more confidence and knowing that if I put myself in position, it can happen again,” she said. “I’m going to take it one step at a time, but it helps knowing what it takes to get all the way to Friday.”
The 21-year-old Bowser, who will be a senior in the fall at Loyola, said last week’s experience in Tennessee at the U.S. Women’s Amateur has given her a different feeling about her golf.
“It’s one of the best things that have happened to me for my golf game, even though I didn’t play well,” she said. “I found out that I was able to compete against those nationally ranked players, so coming here I just have way more confidence.”
Shipley, who is 20 and will be a junior at Kentucky, said she was frustrated with her putting in the round, but didn’t feel poorly about shooting even par.
“It helps that I finished well after having three bogeys in a row,” she said. “A lot of my birdie putts were five and six feet and none of them were going in. I was frustrated, but I stayed calm and kept putting my approaches close. If I keep doing that, the putts will start to fall soon.”
Results: 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.
via Greg Johnson