Flushing’s Kerrigan Parks Earns Medalist Honors at Michigan Women’s Amateur
SAGINAW – Kerrigan Parks has clearly graduated from the junior circuit.
The 17-year-old from Flushing fired a personal best 4-under 67 Tuesday to earn stroke play qualifying medalist honors and the No. 1 seed for match play in the 101st Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Saginaw Country Club.
The winner of the last two Michigan Junior Girls State Amateur Championships finished with a 1-over 143 two-day total.
“I was mad at the way I finished because I made bogeys on my last two holes, but I feel good about making a lot of birdies today,” she said. “It’s a nice feeling to be medalist. I feel confident about my game.”
Anika Dy of Traverse City, who is 16, shot 71 for 145 and the second seed in match play.
Katelyn Chipman, a Grand Valley State University golfer from Canton who led after the first round, shot 75 for 146 and tied for third with Aya Johnson of North Muskegon, a University of Wisconsin golfer who shot 71.
Nichole Cox of Empire shot 71 for 148, and three golfers finished at 150, including Anci Dy of Traverse City, who shot 77, Texas State golfer Sarah White of Kentwood, who shot 76, and two-time defending champion and Michigan State golfer Allyson Geer of Brighton, who shot 76.
Michigan State head women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, a two-time former champion, Michigan Golf Hall of Famer and the oldest player in the field at age 45, earned the No. 9 seed with a 74 for 151.
Central Michigan golfer Natalie Johnson of Clinton Township rounded out the top 10 with a 74 for 153.
The cut fell to the low 32 scorers fell at 161 where three golfers battled for the final spot in match play. Sophie VanderWeele of Detroit made par on the first playoff hole to earn it, and she will play No. 1 seed Parks in the first match of the day Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.
Parks, who will be 18 in two weeks and a freshman at Marshall University in West Virginia in the fall, shot a 76 on Monday and didn’t make a birdie, but in the second round made five birdies and an eagle. She played the back nine first on Tuesday and birdied Nos. 16, 17 and 18 consecutively before making and eagle 3 on the par 5 No. 1 hole (530 yards).
“There is a long way to go, but I feel like I can make birdies here and play well in match play,” she said. “I’ve won the last two Junior Amateurs so I haven’t lost in match play in a while. I like it because one bad hole doesn’t hurt you that much, and if you do make some birdies you really put the pressure on the other player.”
Anika Dy, who will be a junior in the fall at Traverse City West High School, said she was looking forward to match play.
“I improved over yesterday, played pretty solid,” she said.
Geer, who had been or shared medalist honors the last three years, said she was grinding.
“I’m getting in trouble off the tee in the trees, but I will figure it out,” she said.
Results and Match Play Bracket: Find them at gam.org
About the GAM: Founded in 1919, the Golf Association of Michigan is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. The GAM, served by over 250 dedicated volunteers, provides membership to more than 55,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 18 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at www.gam.org.