Kennedy Wins 108th Michigan Women’s Amateur

Shannon Kennedy of Beverly Hills Wins 108th Michigan Women’s Amateur

SOUTHFIELD – Shannon Kennedy of Beverly Hills won the final two holes of a tight, tense match against Elise Fennell of Caledonia and claimed the 108th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Friday at Plum Hollow Country Club.

  “Definitely a lot of emotions coming off (hole) 18,” the Michigan State University golfer said after the 2-up win and accepting the Patti Shook Boice Trophy as champion.

  “I had nerves pretty much all day, but I was able to keep control and execute the way that I needed to,” she said. “When Elise conceded that last putt I looked over at my dad and at all my family friends here and it was just so special, and honestly surreal.”

  Fennell, who is headed to Illinois State University this fall on a golf scholarship, birdied the first hole and the third hole and Kennedy missed short putts on holes three and four resulting in Fennell leading 2-up through four holes.

  Kennedy, who will be a senior at MSU with two years of eligibility remaining, worked her way back by winning the sixth and ninth holes to tie the match by the turn. Fennell led 1-up two more times through the back nine before Kennedy won the 15th hole to tie the match again.

  Kennedy’s first lead of the match was after winning 17 when Fennell’s approach shot from the left rough clipped a tree and fell short resulting in a bogey. Then at 18 she chipped from just off the front edge of the green, hit the flagstick and the ball came to rest just a few feet away. Fennell, who had bunker troubles, then conceded the final putt.

  “I feel like I played really well and I just hung in there all week and kept it going,” Fennell said. “It was a really close final match with Shannon. I just had a couple putts lip-out and I feel like that was the difference.”

  Kennedy said she was not feeling good about golf or even playing in the Amateur before it started.

  “We didn’t have the finish to the season we wanted at Michigan State, losing the Big Ten by one shot, missing the top 15 in nationals by two, and I didn’t feel good about my game at all,” she said.

   “I was not even wanting to play and I just told myself sometimes you got to suck it up and do things. You can’t just give up when times get hard and I’m glad I didn’t. I came out here and grinded hard, had trouble with short putts all week, but kept grinding and it all turned out. I feel really good looking at that trophy and seeing other Spartans on there, like Ally Geer, and coach (Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll).”

   Kennedy, who is the 14th Spartan golfer to win the Amateur since 1966, estimates she has played in eight Michigan Women’s Amateurs and said missing the cut two years ago into match play was a turning point for her in golf.

  “It was embarrassing being a Michigan State golfer and missing the cut,” she said. “And my dad said to me, ‘look Shannon, you have the rest of your life to play golf. It doesn’t matter if you miss the cut, make the cut, you can still play golf the rest of your life. From them I’ve tried to have the mentality I’m going to play in the Michigan Amateur as many times as I can for the test of my life. I can get it next time.”

    Kennedy, 21, reached the championship match with a 4 and 3 semifinal win over Macie Elzinga of Byron Center and soon-to-be Bowling Green State University.

   Fennell,18, reached the championship match with a 1-up semifinal win over Eastern Michigan University student Amaya Melendez of Ann Arbor.


ATTACHED: A photo of champion Shannon Kennedy with the Patti Shook Boice Trophy

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