Host Club Golfer Anna Kramer Makes “Sweet 16” at Michigan Women’s Amateur
SPRING LAKE – Anna Kramer is the host-club kid this week, just 16 and part of the prestigious “Sweet 16” in the 99th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship at Spring Lake Country Club.
Kramer, who was part of a Division 3 state championship team for Spring Lake High School and second individually this past school year, beat Samantha Moss of Fenton 5 and 4 in a first-round match Wednesday.
“I hit a dart in on the first hole to about one foot to win the hole, and then won the second hole and had a great up-and-down from the bunker on six,” she said. “I was up the whole time and I played pretty well the whole time. I just want to keep it going.”
Up next in the round of 16 will be Samantha Kellstrom, another 16-year-old from Saline, who beat Princeton University golfer Tenley Shield of Grosse Pointe Park 3 and 2 in round one.
Kramer and Kellstrom are two of four 16-year-olds in the “Sweet 16,” which has an age range of 16 to 21 and includes five 20-year-olds. All 16 golfers remaining are either college or high school golfers.
The round of 16 and quarterfinal matches will be played Thursday starting at 8 a.m. with the semifinals and final match slated for Friday.
The three qualifying medalists and thus top three seeds – Ohio University golfer Hailey Hrynewich of Muskegon, Michigan State University golfer Gabby Yurik of Oakland Township and home-schooled 16-year-old Allyson Geer of Brighton – each advanced to the round of 16.
Several lower seeds managed to win in the first round, but the biggest surprise of the day was 2012 Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and University of Tennessee golfer Emmie Pietila being beaten by Western Michigan golfer Emma Salata 1-up.
“I was intimidated because she is such a good player,” Salata said. “She didn’t play well for her. I hung in there and pulled it off.”
Hrynewich, Yurik, Geer, Kramer, Kellstrom and Salata are joined in the final 16 by University of Akron golfer Pader Her and Oakland University golfer Alyssa Albright, both of Lansing, Grand Valley State golfer Gabrielle Shipley of Hastings, recent Michigan Girls Junior Amateur Champion Sarah White of Caledonia, Northern Michigan University golfer Avery Rochester of Marquette, University of Tennessee golfer Hannah Pietila of Brighton, two-time high school state champion Cordelia Chan of Birmingham, Northern Illinois golfer Sydney Brickey of Burtchville, Bowling Green State University golfer Hannah Lewis of Plainwell and Nichole Cox, a Maple City Glen Lake High School golfer from Empire.
Most of the eyes at Spring Lake this week have been on Kramer, whose parents are club members.
“Everybody has been so supportive,” she said. “I haven’t really felt a ton of pressure. I know the course better than the other golfers, but I still have to stay focused and hit the shots. I like to stay pretty focused with everything.”
Kramer said extra work on her putting this summer is paying off this week.
“I’m making a lot of great putts,” she said. “I really worked hard on it, too. I have putted a lot this summer and feel really comfortable with that part of my game.”
Hrynewich, the 2013 runner-up, beat Michigan State golfer Priscilla Harding 3 and 2 and said she has improved her patience on the golf course.
“I’ve become much better at playing the next shot and not thinking about all the other stuff,” she said. “I’m going one shot, one hole, one match at a time, but yes, I want to be playing in that final match and do better this time.”
Yurik said she played some of her best golf of the week in dispatching Caitlin Starrs of West Bloomfield 6 and 5.
“I played well,” she said. “I hit fairways, made some putts. I want to keep doing that.”
Geer said she played solid for the most part in her 5 and 3 win over Morgan Smith of Muskegon.
“I didn’t make a lot of birdies, but I made pars and let her make the mistakes,” she said. “I made a few mistakes, lost the first hole, but once I got the lead I played pretty solid.”
The 2015 “Sweet 16” of the 99th Michigan Women’s Amateur
Hailey Hrynewich, Muskegon, 20, Ohio University golfer (junior)
- Pader Her, Lansing, 19, University of Akron golfer (sophomore)
- Alyssa Albright, Lansing, 20, Oakland University golfer (senior)
- Emma Salata, Ann Arbor, 21, Western Michigan University golfer (senior)
- Anna Kramer, Spring Lake, 16, Spring Lake High School golfer (junior)
- Samantha Kellstrom, Saline, 16, Saline High School golfer (senior)
- Gabrielle Shipley, Hastings, 21, Grand Valley State University golfer (senior)
- Sarah White, Caledonia, 18, Western Michigan University golfer (freshman)
- Gabby Yurik, Oakland Township, 20, Michigan State University golfer (senior)
- Avery Rochester, Marquette, 19, Northern Michigan University golfer (junior)
- Hannah Pietila, 20 Brighton, University of Tennessee golfer (junior)
- Cordelia Chan, 18, Birmingham, Williams College (Mass.) (freshman)
- Allyson Geer, 16, Brighton, home-schooled (junior)
- Sydney Brickey, 20, Port Huron, Northern Illinois University golfer (junior)
- Hannah Lewis, 21, Plainwell, Bowling Green University golfer (senior)
- Nichole Cox, 16, Empire, Maple City Glen Lake High School golfer (junior)
The Match Play Bracket is available at www.gam.org
via Greg Johnson