Sarah Shipley of Hastings Wins 28th GAM Women’s Championship Despite Penalty
SAGINAW – Sarah Shipley didn’t let a two-stroke penalty for hitting from a wrong tee box on the sixth hole ruin her day.
The Hastings resident and University of Kentucky golfer shot a 1-under 70 despite the penalty and won the 28th GAM Women’s Championship presented by Global Golf Post Tuesday at Saginaw Country Club.
“It was early enough in the round that I didn’t get that worked up about it,” she said after the four-shot win over 2017 champion Kerri Parks of Flushing and Marshall University and Yurika Tanida of East Lansing and Michigan State University, who tied for second.
“It was frustrating, but I had birdied a couple of holes and knew I had a cushion. Plus, I knew there were more birdies out there.”
Shipley’s closing 70 gave her a two-day total of 4-under 138. Parks, who rallied with a 6-under 65, and Tanida, who shot a second consecutive 71, tied at even-par 142.
Defending champion Allyson Geer-Park of Brighton and Michigan State shot 69 for 143 and fourth place. Katie Chipman of Flushing and Grand Valley State University shot 69 for 144 and fifth.
Michigan State head women’s golf coach and Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, who shot 74, and Chaithra Katamneni of Midland and the University of Nevada, who shot 72, tied at 145.
Anna Kramer of Spring Lake and the University of Indianapolis, the 2016 champion, shot 72 for 146, and Elayna Bowser of Dearborn and Loyola University-Chicago shot 72 for 147. Meghan Deardorff of Clarkston and Central Michigan, who shot 78, and Haylin Harris, another Michigan State golfer who shot 74, rounded out the top 10 at 148.
Shipley said she was in conversation with playing partners Slobodnik-Stoll and Deardorff when she stepped to what she thought was the No. 6 tee and hit a shot. Deardorff then stepped on the tee and noticed it was not the correct tee.
“I had to hit another one, take the two strokes, try to make a birdie for bogey, but I made par for a double-bogey,” she said. “I’ve never done that before. I’m glad it was earlier in the round. That’s why I didn’t get too down about it. If I do something like that late in the round it might have been a different story.”
Shipley, 21 and a senior-to-be this fall at Kentucky, said she was proud that she worked through the mistake and kept playing well.
“I had two rounds in the red (under-par) so I feel really good about that,” she said. “It’s my best play of the summer for sure. It will boost my confidence going into the season back at school. I had the kind of rounds I will need to have to go back to school and win a college tournament.”
Shipley, who was qualifying medalist in last year’s Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship, will miss the Aug. 5-9 championship at Spring Lake Country Club with a mission trip to Nicaragua with some other University of Kentucky athletes.
“I will play in the Women’s Western Amateur and that’s it before going back to school,” she said.
Parks, the defending Michigan Women’s Amateur champion said she will also miss the championship. She heads back to Marshall for summer classes on Monday.
“I’m excited I shot a good round before I head back to school,” she said after her 65 that helped her forget an opening 77. “I had good distance with my driver today and seemed to hit it to 9-iron distance a lot,” she said. “I hit good shots and made a few putts. Yesterday I hit several errant shots, but today I played much better.”
Tanida, who will be a junior at Michigan State and is originally from Japan, said her 71 was frustrating.
“I started out very bad,” she said. “I struggled to make pars, struggled all through the round.”
COMPLETE RESULTS: Scores can be found under the championships tab at gam.org,