Anika Dy Leads The Michigan Women’s Open After Two
Crystal Mountain Cart Attendant Anika Dy Races to Lead in Michigan Women’s Open
THOMPSONVILLE – On a normal day this summer at Crystal Mountain Resort, Anika Dy of Traverse City greets golfers, puts their clubs on a cart and helps them prepare for their rounds in her job as a cart lot attendant.
On Tuesday she shot 5-under 67 on the Mountain Ridge Course and took a one-shot lead through 36 holes of the 26th Michigan Women’s Open Championship.
“I’m trying not to think too much about it,” said the 17-year-old recent graduate of Traverse City West High School who has grown up playing and practicing at Crystal Mountain.
“That’s where I’m at – just don’t overthink it.”
Dy, who is headed to the University of Michigan on a golf scholarship in the fall, was at 8-under 136 in the open championship that features an assortment of Symetra Tour golfers, mini-tour players, teaching pros and amateurs from across the country.
Haylee Harford of Leavittsburg, Ohio, a recent graduate of Furman University where she was an All-American golfer, shot 69 for 7-under and second place. She recently played in the prestigious Arnold Palmer Cup and then turned professional.
Christine Meier of Rochester Hills, a teaching professional at Country Club of Detroit, shot 71 to land at 4-under in third, four strokes off the lead.
Defending champion Liz Nagel of DeWitt, a Symetra Tour player, shot 72 to land at 3-under with 70-shooting mini-tour player Gabrielle Shipley of Hastings, the former Division II individual national champion for Grand Valley State University.
Five golfers were at 2-under including Michigan State University golfer Yurika Tanida of Japan, who shot 71. The others are professionals Jessica Welch of Thomasville, Ga., who shot 68, Olivia Jordan-Higgins of Birmingham, Ala., who shot 70, Nicole Budnik of The Woodlands, Texas, who shot 71, and Melissa Siviter of Alpharetta, Ga., who shot 72.
The 36-hole cut fell at 159 with 70 players moving on to Wednesday’s final round in the $40,000, 54-hole championship. Split tee times will be used for the final round with the leaders teeing off at 9:39 a.m. off No. 1.
Dy will not be cashing a check but could become the second amateur to win the championship and would become the youngest winner in tournament history. Breanne Hall of Kentwood in 2003 was a University of Toledo golfer when she won. Hall is currently the women’s golf coach at Illinois State.
Dy, who recently won her third consecutive Division 1 state high school state championship and was named Miss Golf in Michigan three consecutive years, said her goal is to stay up at the top of the leaderboard and keep going. She’s confident because she estimates having played as many as 200 to 300 rounds on the Mountain Ridge course, and her teacher is Bay Meadows Golf Course professional Scott Wilson, who used to work at Crystal Mountain. She also was the youngest to ever play in the Michigan Women’s Open when she first teed it up at age 11.
“This is where I started playing golf, where I grew up and I’ve played in this tournament a lot of times,” she said. “I know a lot of people here. I love all the support I get. To win here would be a huge deal. I just don’t want to think about it right now. I will just try to play my game. Same game plan. I will just go out there and play golf on a course where I’m really comfortable and I know the greens really well. There are always nerves. It is all part of it. Whoever handles the nerves the best is going to win.”
The diminutive 5-foot-2 Dy said brand new irons and wedges, men’s clubs for the first time, have helped her a little with distance and a lot with control.
“I guess I’m getting stronger,” she said. “Michigan sent me workout tapes, and they are helping.”
She made bogey on the second hole, but birdied Nos. 4, 6 and 7.
“I cruised after that,” she said. “I honestly haven’t been playing that well until the last couple of weeks so I’m glad it’s starting to come together.”
She will not be looking at scoreboards in the final round as the field chases.
“When I pass the big scoreboards on the course I try not to look,” she said. “Sometimes I might take a peek, but for the most part I try to just stay in my lane.”
Harford will be going for the passing lane. The 22-year-old, who was a two-time Ohio high school state champion, said she is feeling great about her game and her first professional event.
“Today I hit it really well,” she said. “I just wasn’t making putts the first nine. It felt good to get them rolling in the last two holes. That was a good way to finish and feel good going into tomorrow. The golf course is great. I’m just going to stick to playing my game, playing the golf course.”
RESULTS: Scores at michiganpgagolf.com by clicking on leaderboard