PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield is top Junior Girl
FARMINGTON HILLS – Mikaela Schulz played often and in a lot of places last summer. She also played very well.
Schulz, who is a West Bloomfield resident, a 16-year-old junior at Bloomfield Hills High School and member through her family at Tam O’Shanter Country Club, is the 2017 Golf Association of Michigan Junior Girls Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann, senior director of rules and competitions, announced today.
“I had a lot of great experiences this summer,” she said. “I played a lot of different courses, in a lot of different temperatures and on different types of grasses. I learned a lot and it was an awesome experience all the way around.”
Over the coming days the GAM will announce the final two age group players of the year for 2017. Tom Werkmeister of Grandville and Aya Johnson of North Muskegon were previously announced as the men’s and women’s players of the year and Randy Lewis of Alma and Julie Massa of Holt were named the top seniors. Rick Hagenbach of South Lyon was named the super senior player of the year and Patrick Sullivan of Grosse Pointe was named the top junior boy.
The winners will receive their awards in the spring at the GAM’s annual meeting for 2017. Honorees are determined based on the GAM Honor Roll, which awards points for tournament accomplishments.
Schulz, who was the 2017 Women’s Western Golf Association Junior Championship winner, topped the junior girls honor roll with 1,218 points, just ahead of Kerrigan Parks of Flushing, who had 1,120 points. Anika Dy of Traverse City, Danielle Staskowski of Clarkston and Olivia Reed of Carleton rounded out the top five. Complete lists can be found at gam.org under the championships tab.
The WWGA Junior title along with a second in the AJGA’s Randy Wise Junior Open and qualifying for the national PGA Junior Girls via being the Michigan PGA Junior Girls medalist were among the many highlights.
“Winning the Western Junior is something I’ll remember for the way I played in both stroke play and match play,” she said. “I gained a lot of experience, and learned more about my game. I really worked hard on the mental game and my short game this summer and it paid off. It’s awesome to be the GAM Player of the Year. It was a total surprise.”
Schulz is the daughter of Mark and Rachel Schulz. Her mother played golf at the University of Michigan, and LPGA Tour star Morgan Pressel is her cousin. Golf is in the family, and she started it by working at the practice range with her grandfather Herb Krickstein, who is also the father of tennis professional Aaron Krickstein.
“I really didn’t start playing competitively until age 10,” she said. “My grandfather and my mother have helped me a lot with the game, and Morgan is somebody I look up to as I pursue my dream. Playing on the LPGA Tour like her one day would be awesome.”
She plans another busy summer, including defending her WWGA Junior title and playing in several GAM Tournaments.
“My goal is to continue working and I’m focusing on what can help me improve,” she said. “The mental game is important. There are a lot of golfers with great talent. The key is to have the better mind.”
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 almost 60,000 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.
via Greg Johnson