Lorenzo Pinili, Lauren Timpf Win GAM Junior Invitational Titles
EAST LANSING – Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills and Brother Rice High School and Lauren Timpf of Macomb and Lutheran North High School finished the summer golf season as GAM Junior Invitational champions at Forest Akers West Golf Course Sunday.
Pinili, soon to be 17, won on the first hole of a playoff with Jack Zubkus of Ada. They were tied after regulation play at 1-under 143 with Pinili shooting a closing 73 and Zubkus coming from behind with a 4-under 68. Pinili parred the first playoff hole, No. 18, while Zubkus hit a second shot from a fairway bunker into a pond and couldn’t save par.
Meanwhile in the girls’ competition, Timpf, who turns 15 on Thursday, rallied from behind with a closing 71 for 148 and slipped past Adie Maki of Canton, who shot a 74 for 149.
Winners were also crowned in 15-and-under age divisions. Connor Fox of Lake Orion, who shot 69 for 143, won among the boys by three shots over Cooper Reitsma of Ada, who shot 72 for 146.
Alena Li of Okemos, who shot 77 for 155, topped the younger girls by winning a three-golfer playoff with a par on the second hole the trio played (No. 18 after playing No. 10).
Li was joined in the playoff at 155 by runner-up Grace Slocum of Traverse City, who shot a final 75, and third-place finisher KT Leinwand of Kalamazoo (out on the first playoff hole), who shot 77.
It was a first GAM tournament title for Pinili, who earlier this summer won a Golfweek Tour event at Forest Akers West as well.
“It feels great to get my first GAM win,” he said. “The first round (Saturday) I putted really well and made most of my five footers. Today I didn’t make as many but I just tried to hang in there, try my best and I was able to hang on.”
Pinili called his summer of golf solid.
“I finished close to the top in a lot of tournaments,” he said. “I’m really happy with where I’m at.”
Finishing third behind Pinili and Zubkus was Justin Sui of Lake Orion, who shot the best round of the day, a 66, for 144. Carter Housler of Lansing, who shot 73 for 144, and Foster Faber of Hudsonville, who shot 73 for 145, rounded out the top five.
Timpf won for the third time this summer in GAM tournaments, but for the first time in the GAM Invitational playing in the older age group. She was disappointed with a first-round 77 and her and her father went back to the golf course Saturday night to work on some things.
“It was a pretty upsetting round and we worked on putting and a few shots here and there,” she said. “I just brought what I remembered from last night to today, stayed focused and tried to come out and gain some strokes. It felt good to do it.”
Timpf said back-to-back birdies on holes No. 6 and 7 were critical to the win and she credited improved putting in the second round
“I found I was focusing too much on the line on the ball and just tried to focus on visualizing a line into the hole,” she said. “That really helped. My putting was a lot better.”
Following Timpf and Maki and finishing third was Sophie Stevens of Highland, who shot 78 for 151. Gabriella Tapp of South Lyon, who shot 77 for 152, finished in fourth place, and Grace Wang of Rochester Hills and Megha Vallabhaneni of Northville, who each shot 74 for 143 rounded out the top five.
Rounding out the top five in the boys’ 15-and-under behind Fox and Reitsma were Sawyer O’Grady of Ada, who shot 74 for 149, Kaiden Bailey of Menominee and Troy Nguyen of Macomb, who each shot 75 for 151.
In the girls’ 15-and-under behind the three playoff players, Li, Slocum and Leinwand, were Avery Manning of Dexter, who shot 85 for 163, and Lilian O’Grady, who shot 88 for 169.
A field of 84 boy and girl golfers competed. They were invited by the GAM based on performances in a variety of state and national competitions in 2021. Pinili and Timpf each received the Mick Kildea Trophy for their victories.