Flushing’s Kerrigan Parks Wins 2016 Michigan Girls Junior State Amateur

Kerrigan Parks, winner of the 2016 Girls Junior
Kerrigan Parks, winner of the 2016 Michigan Girls Junior State Amateur

Flushing’s Kerrigan Parks Wins Michigan Girls Junior State Amateur

EAST LANSING – Kerrigan Parks of Flushing considers winning the 38th Michigan Girls Junior State Amateur Championship presented by Pepsi a turning point for her in golf.

“I know now I can be under par, and I’m just as good as all the other girls,” she said after turning back Jami Laude of Ann Arbor 2 and 1 in the championship match at Forest Akers West Thursday.

“It’s really nice, a really good feeling. I didn’t know if it was possible, but after my scores the first two days, 74 and 72, I thought this is really possible. I need to play well in match play, and I did.”

The 15-and-under championship was won by Heather Fortushniak of Brighton, who topped Ariel Chang of Macomb 3 and 2 in that title match.

“This is my first win this year and my biggest win, so that’s really cool,” said the junior-to-be at Brighton High School. “My putting wasn’t so great, but I hung in there and stayed tough. It’s a good win.”

In the overall championship, Parks, who will be a senior at Flushing High School, was one down after Laude made a 28-foot birdie putt on No. 11. She won four consecutive holes, though, three with pars and one with a birdie (No. 14), and was three up with three holes to play.

She rushed a long first putt past the hole at No. 16 and three-putted for bogey while Laude played to par to win the hole. Laude hit the par 5 No. 17 hole in two shots and two-putted for birdie. Parks played to the green in three shots and made the 10-footer for birdie to tie the hole and close out the match.

“My game plan was to make pars on the front because it had been tough for me, but on the back I had been making birdies left and right in my matches, so I went after it,” she said.

Parks had to fend off Veronica Haque of Rochester Hills 1-up in the morning semifinal matches. Laude turned back Moyea Russell of Lake Orion 1-up.

In the 15-and-under play, the semifinal matches were played Wednesday. Fortushniak beat Savannah Haque 2 and 1, and Chang beat Abigail Livingston of Northville 1-up.

Complete results and the match play brackets can be found at www.gam.org.

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 nine full-time staff, provides membership to more than 55,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 15 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at www.gam.org.

via Greg Johnson

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