Ieuan Jones of Ann Arbor, Kate Brody of Grand Blanc Win GAM 14-and-under Match Play Titles
EAST LANSING – Ieuan Jones of Ann Arbor and Kate Brody of Grand Blanc returned as runners-up from a year ago and left champions this time.
Jones, 13, and Brody, 14, emerged as winners Tuesday in the Third GAM 14-and-under Match Play Championships presented by Pepsi at Woodside Golf Course.
Jones turned back Drew Miller of East Lansing 3 and 2 in the nine-hole final match of the boys’ competition, and Brody topped Mckenna Kehoe of Strathroy 3 and 2 in the girls’ final match. Winners were also crowned in other flights. Complete results are at gam.org under the Championships tab.
“A win is always special because they don’t always happen,” Jones said after taking an early 2-up lead with birdies on the first and third hole. “It was cool to win a match play tournament, too. Every match was difficult. I had to hit good shots and play well. I had to go win it. In the last match I hit it close on 1, 3 and on 7. I hit good iron shots once I adjusted to the greens being firm. I had to hit higher shots in there.”
Jones said he didn’t play well in the stroke play seeding portion of the tournament on Monday morning and was worried he wouldn’t make the championship flight.
“I got in and played really well through most of the match play portion,” he said. “Sometimes golf works that way. Sometimes something clicks and you don’t always know what it is; but all of a sudden everything was fixed and I started making putts and got my confidence back. I just carried that confidence all the way through.”
Jones said his goal was to return and win after being a runner-up last year.
“Last year being runner-up was special because I wasn’t expecting that much,” he said. “This year I expected to play well and winning was the goal for sure.”
Brody said she was looking forward to returning and attempting to win after being second a year ago.
“I really wanted to get a win since it is my last year in this tournament,” she said. “It’s been a really fun tournament. I really like match play. There is a lot of great competition here so it means a lot to win.”
In her final match with Kehoe she won three consecutive holes highlighted by approach shots to one-foot on both hole No. 3 and 4.
“I started to get excited,” she said. “I lost to (Mckenna) in the semifinals of the (Michigan Junior) Girls State Amateur earlier this summer so I knew it was going to take my best golf. It feels good to get the win.”
It was the second GAM win of the summer for Brody, who also won the GAM Junior Kickoff Tournament in the spring.
“I feel like I have gotten so much better than last year,” she said. “I’ve been practicing a lot and working on my swing. All of my hard work is paying off.”
Woodside is one of a handful of 12-hole golf courses in the country designed to appeal to, among others, those who seek a course that takes less time to play, those beginning the game and those who perhaps seek a less physically demanding experience.
A field of 28 boys and 20 girls started the tournament, which combined stroke play and match play. After 12 holes of stroke-play qualifying Monday morning the players were seeded into match-play flights. Players played three matches against other players of similar ability levels through Tuesday afternoon to determine winners.
RESULTS: For the GAM 14 and Under Match Play
via Greg Johnson