Dearborn’s Elayna Bowser Burns Up Back Nine to Lead 100th Michigan Women’s Amateur
LINDEN – Dearborn’s Elayna Bowser made four birdies to fashion a back-nine 32 in a 3-under 69 Monday, and was four shots ahead of the rest of the field through the first round of the 100th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Spring Meadows Country Club.
“My game has been there all summer, but I haven’t been able to score,” said Bowser who is 19 and a Loyola University Chicago golfer. “I had some putts drop on the back nine.”
Bowser was four shots better than defending champion Allyson Geer of Brighton and University of Michigan golfer Emily White of Saline, who each carded 73s.
Michigan State golfer Jacqueline Setas of East Lansing shot 74, and the 75 shooters included Mackenzie Blomberg of Auburn Hills and Grand Valley State University, Morgan Smith of Muskegon and Oakland University, 15-year-old Anika Dy of Traverse City and Cordelia Chan of Birmingham and Williams College (Mass.)
The field plays 18 more holes of stroke play Tuesday to determine the medalist/No. 1 seed and the 32 golfers for the match play bracket. Match play continues through Friday to determine a champion.
Bowser had five birdies against two bogeys in her round, made the turn at 1-over and then birdied Nos. 10, 14, 17 and 18. She had a tap-in birdie on No. 10, made a 25-footer on No. 14, almost made hole-in-one on 17 and dropped a 30-footer from the fringe for birdie on No. 18.
“The putt at 14 probably had 10 feet of break, so that was really nice that it went in, but at 17 it was just sitting on the lip – almost a hole-in-one,” she said. “I played well all day. I put the ball in the right spots in the fairway, I hit a lot of greens and I finally scored.”
Geer, a home-schooled 17-year-old and a 36-hole medalist the last two years, said she couldn’t get putts to fall until she birdied Nos. 15 and 16 at the close of her 73.
“I just want to be in a good seed for the match play,” she said. “I was 3-over out there and was able to turn it on coming in and get back close to par. I’ll build on that.”
White, who will be a junior on the Michigan golf team and won her first collegiate tournament last fall, said she used driver sparingly on the tight Spring Meadows course.
“I made up this yardage book last night and told myself to stick to my game plan for every shot, and I did that,” she said. “I had only two putts inside 10 feet, and missed those, so that was a little frustrating, but I had 17 pars. I’ll take 17 pars most days and be fine.”
Setas, who will be a junior at Michigan State, said she hit just one bad drive in her 74 and hit the ball well tee to green.
“The putts just wouldn’t drop,” she said.
RESULTS: Complete scores are at www.gam.org