Schulz Wins 2018 Michigan Junior Girls State Amateur
Mikaela Schulz Switches Putters, Wins 2018 Michigan Junior Girls State Amateur
EAST LANSING – Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield started slow last Sunday in the 40th Michigan Junior Girls State Amateur Championship presented by Pepsi, but a putter switch did the trick and she turned back Shannon Kennedy on Beverly Hills in the championship match Wednesday at Forest Akers West.
“I did not play well the first day of stroke play – it wasn’t my best golf,” said the 16-year-old senior-to-be at Bloomfield Hills High School.
“I had switched putters about four weeks ago, and the new putter felt good but I didn’t drop anything. So I switched back to a putter I had used for about five years. It rolled some putts in. I was skeptical about changing in the middle of a tournament, but it was for the better.”
Schulz, who topped Kennedy 4 and 3 in the final match, shot a 69 for 146 on Monday to earn medalist honors over Kennedy by one shot, and then worked her way through the 16-golfer match play bracket to the title. She is the first golfer to garner both stroke play medalist honors and the championship since 2011 when Kelly Hartigan took home both trophies.
“After that first day I just tried to play my game and prove to myself what I could do with it,” she said. “I had a good match with Shannon. I don’t think she had her best game, and I just didn’t give anything away.”
Schulz, last year’s GAM Junior Girls Player of the Year, called it a big win.
“It’s a big event for me and a step forward in where I want to go with my golf,” she said. “I love winning GAM tournaments, too. They are so well run and the volunteers are so nice and it just makes it special to win.”
Schulz, who has already verbally committed to the University of Michigan golf program, beat Rachel Hu of Northville 2 and 1 in the semifinals to earn her finals spot, while Kennedy topped Danielle Staskowski of Clarkston 3 and 2.
Grace Boczar of Canton won the 15-and-under division title, which featured an eight-golfer bracket after stroke play qualifying. Her sister Bridget was the medalist in stroke play and the top seed after shooting 72-79-151.
Grace beat Karli VanDuinen of Muskegon in 19 holes in the final match. It was VanDuinen who topped her sister Bridget in the first round of match play, 2-up.
A field of 110 golfers ages 18-and-under played for the two titles.