Michigan Women’s Amateur: Ellis, Timpf Lead
Former Pro Caroline Ellis, Junior Star Lauren Timpf lead Michigan Women’s Amateur
ROCHESTER – Caroline Ellis, a reinstated amateur golfer and former touring professional who is the assistant women’s coach at Michigan State University, and Lauren Timpf, a 15-year-old junior golf standout from Macomb, were tied for the lead through the first day of stroke play at the 106th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Monday.
They each shot even-par rounds of 72 and will lead the field into a second round of stroke play at Great Oaks Country Club Tuesday. The low 32 scorers through the two rounds of stroke play advance to match play, which continues through Friday to determine a champion.
University of Michigan golfer Anika Dy of Traverse City, the 2019 Michigan Women’s Open champion, checked in next with a 74, and three golfers shot 75, including Megha Vallabhaneni of Northville, who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall, Eastern Michigan University golfer Sophia Wygonik of Westland and University of Michigan golfer Mikaela Schulz, the runner-up in the championship a year ago.
Defending champion Kimberly Dinh of Midland was part of the group who shot 76.
Ellis, a former All-American and 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year for the Spartans, is back in amateur golf for the first year since college. The former Symetra (now Epson) Tour player with 11 top-20 finishes as a professional, called her round, which included six birdies, four bogeys and one double-bogey, a whirlwind.
“I was making birdies and I was hitting some bad shots, so it was like, you know, back in tournament golf, you never know what you’re gonna get,” he said. “I haven’t played tournament golf in a little while, so I forgot how much fun it is. I’m having a great time.”
The 15-year-old Timpf, a 2020 15-and-under GAM Junior Player of the Year when she won four consecutive GAM junior tournaments, had a slow start to her first round.
“I started off with two bogeys in a row so I quickly knew I had to turn it around,” she said. “I was able to make a few birdies in there and then had mostly pars the rest of the way. I just tried to putt well today and I think that really made the difference.”
Ellis said coaching and recruiting take up most of her time, so practice isn’t a priority.
“I never know then what game is going to show up,” she said. “I feel like my A game is pretty good, but I’m also capable of hitting some squirrely shots. Every shot is a little bit of a fun surprise, but I came into the week looking to win. So we’ll see what the week holds.”
Timpf, who last fall won the Division 3 individual state title by 14 shots playing for Lutheran North High, said her goal for the week was to make the match play bracket and then progress from there.
“Each year that’s the goal,” said the 2021 Michigan Junior Girls Amateur champion. “I’m off to a good start. I’ve done well in match play tournaments before, so I just want to keep going.”
INFORMATION, TEE TIMES, RESULTS: Visit GAM.org