Michigan Women’s Open Starts Monday

The 2014 Michigan Women’s Open begins Monday, June 23 with a field that includes 69 golfers from 19 states and five countries. The three-day tournament is held at Crystal Mountain Resort at the championship Mountain Ridge course, and carries a $36,000 purse.

Thirty-five of the players are professionals.

I’ve not visited Crystal Mountain to play golf. Guess I’m going to have to put it on my list.

The full press release follows:

New Faces Highlight Michigan PGA Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain Resort

THOMPSONVILLE – The Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship and host Crystal Mountain Resort will have a first-time winner this year.

For the first time in the 21-year history of the event none of the former champions are in the field, including Inhong Lim, the 2013 winner and Symetra Tour player.

Instead, the field features 69 golfers from 19 states and five countries, including China and the United Kingdom, who will play for the $36,000 purse Monday through Wednesday on the championship Mountain Ridge course which winds across Crystal Mountain.

Corie Hou of Fountain Hills, Ariz., who lost to Lim in a one-hole sudden death playoff a year ago, is back to try again. The former University of Hawaii golfer shot a closing 4-under-par 68 last year to force the playoff. Also back are two golfers who tied for third a year ago – Rachael Schmidt of Elk River, Minn., and Ashely Tait of Littleton, Colo.

Two players who played in this week’s U.S. Open will be making the trip up from Pinehurst, N.C. They are Hannah Pietila of Brighton and Xyra Suyetsuga of Fountain Hills, Ariz. Pietila’s sister Emmie is also playing in the Michigan Open.

Last year’s low amateur, Kimberly Dinh of Midland, a University of Wisconsin golfer, is also in the field.

A familiar group of Michigan State Spartans led by head women’s coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll are playing, though some of them are new names to the tournament, too. Slobodnik-Stoll counts 13 with MSU ties in the event, including former LPGA Tour player Sue Ertl, a Grand Rapids native and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member now living and teaching in Florida. In all, 32 of the golfers in the field are from the state of Michigan.

In addition to Slobodnik-Stoll and Ertl, the Spartan contingent includes three young players arriving in the recruiting class of 2015. They are Alexis Biedrzycki, Carolyn Markley and Sybil Robinson. Jacqueline Setas, a recruit arriving this fall, is also in the field.  Current players Lindsey McPherson, Trish Witherby, Mariah Massa and Gabby Yurik are playing.

Liz Nagel and Allyssa Ferrell, two Spartans who just turned professional, will be making professional debuts in the event.  Assistant coach Aimee Neff rounds out the group.

The field will have 35 professionals playing for the purse, as well as 34 amateurs competing. Normally several Symetra Tour players make the stop, but fewer are making the trip this year between events in South Bend, Ind. (June 20-22), and Harris, Mich. (June 27-29).

Crystal Mountain is hosting the state championship for the 12th consecutive year. Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort that is nationally recognized for its skiing, golf and award-winning spa.

Located in northwest-lower-Michigan, a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the resort features downhill and cross-country skiing, Michigan Legacy Art Park, 36 holes of championship golf, Michigan’s only alpine slide, an outdoor water playground, a variety of lodging and dining options, countless year-round activities and kids programs, an IACC-approved conference center, weddings, real estate and Crystal Spa.

Gallery is welcome with parking and admission free.

The Michigan PGA will have live scoring for the tournament at http://www.michiganpgagolf.com.

More information is available at http://www.michiganpgagolf.com and http://www.crystalmountain.com.

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