Elzinga Is Stoke Play Medalist at Michigan Junior Girls Amateur

MICHIGAN JUNIOR GIRLS’ STATE AMATEUR: Byron Center’s Macie Elzinga Earns No. 1 Seed

  EAST LANSING – Macie Elzinga of Byron Center, thankful for her putter and a birdie on her last hole, earned the Mina L. Wright Memorial Trophy as stroke play medalist and will be the top seed for match play in the 46th Michigan Junior Girls’ State Amateur Championship.

  Elzinga, who is committed to play collegiate golf at Bowling Green State University, shot a 3-under 69 on Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West Course to land a 5-under 139, just one shot ahead of Grace Slocum of Traverse City, who shot a second consecutive 70 for 140.

   “(Being medalist) means everything to me,” she said. “I’ve been playing in this tournament since I was like 12-years-old, and this is the very last Junior GAM tournament of my life. To be able to win this portion of the tournament is pretty special.”

    Alena Li of Okemos, the stroke play medalist a year ago, shot 73 for 147 and the No. 3 seed. Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor and Logan Bentley of Addison each shot 76 for 148 to round out the top five.

  Rain delayed play through the morning and led to a shotgun start round to put the tournament back on schedule. Match play with 16 golfers in the overall bracket continues through Thursday.

  In the 15-and-under division, an eight-golfer match play bracket was determined, and Saisha Patil of Okemos was the medalist and will be the top seed for the second consecutive year.

  Patil shot a 5-under 67 for 139 and finished well ahead of two players in second – Tula Puzzuoli of Washington Township, who shot 79 for 153, and Hannah Kim of Troy, who shot 78 for 153.

  “I’m really excited,” Patil said. “That’s my best score yet. I feel really proud of myself. The past few weeks before this were a little bit rough, so I think I made a good comeback.”

    Elzinga, a semifinalist in the recent Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship, said her morale was all over the place during the round.

  “I left a lot of shots out there but was able to battle back from the bad ones with pretty good shots,” she said. “My putter was really hot so that helped. I really didn’t know it was going to be close (for medalist). I didn’t look at the leaderboard, but the fact that I won only by one shot makes me very thankful that my putter was working today.”

  Elzinga said the wet and windy conditions made it tough.

  “There were some holes that the wind took my ball places I did not want to be, but I was able to bounce back,” she said. “So, no complaints.”

  Elzinga said she has worked hard in the last year at staying in the process.

  “No matter what happens out there, I’m focusing on one shot at a time and what I can control,” she said. “The fact that it was raining this morning was out of my control and I just had to focus on the fact that I know I can play good golf and I know I can hit the shots.”

   Elzinga will play Chaille Payne of Spring Lake, who won a three-golfer playoff at 163 for the No. 16 spot in the bracket.

  “This is my first time ever not being the underdog,” Elzinga said. “It’s going to be a different mindset for sure, but I’m still going to just focus on one shot at a time and do what I can. And hopefully that ends with me having another trophy.”


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