Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, Jasmine Ly of Windsor Win GAM Junior Invitational Titles
EAST LANSING – Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids and Jasmine Ly of Windsor, Ontario, ended their successful summers of golf and Golf Association of Michigan junior careers in perfect fashion.
The two high school seniors each maintained leads and won the boys and girls overall titles in the 6th GAM Junior Invitational Championship presented by Pepsi Sunday at Forest Akers West.
Smithson, who plans to make Forest Akers his home for college golf at Michigan State University next fall, shot a closing 1-over 73 to couple with his first-round leading 69 for 142.
It left him one shot ahead of Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe Farms, who shot 70 for 143 and second.
Luc Warnock of McGregor, Ontario, who shot 72 for 144, Shawn Sehra of Windsor, who shot 72 for 145, and Will Anderson of Portage, who hot 72 for 145 rounded out the top five.
“It feels really good,” Smithson said of his first GAM championship. “It’s a good way to end the summer, and it was a great summer.”
Ly, who has verbally committed to play golf at Northern Illinois University, shot a closing 74 to follow up her 70 from Saturday for 144. Anika Dy of Traverse City, a University of Michigan commit, shot 76 for 146 and second.
It was a second consecutive GAM Junior Invitational title for Ly, and she is the first to win back-to-back in the six-year history of the championship.
Allison Cui of Okemos, who shot 71 for 149, Shannon Kennedy of Beverly Hills, who shot 75 for 150 and Kay Zubkus of Ada, who shot 74 for 151, rounded out the top five.
“I tried not to think about winning again,” Ly said. “It messes with my mind when I think about that stuff. I just tried to play my best.”
Winners were also crowned in the 15-and-under division with Ieuan Jones of Ann Arbor taking the boys title, and Sophie Stevens of Novi winning the girls title.
Jones shot a final 76 for 155. Landon Wanless of Caledonia shot 80 for 159 and second, and Brayden Elzinga of Byron Center shot 80 for 161 and third.
Stevens won among the girls with a final 78 for 155. Kate Brody of Grand Blanc was second with a 78 for 159, and Bridget Boczar of Canton finished third after an 81 for 162.
Smithson, a senior at Forest Hills Eastern High School, started the year playing in the Michigan PGA State Pro-Am and winning with his father Gary, who is the head golf professional at Quail Ridge Golf Club in Grand Rapids. He also won the Michigan PGA Junior title and was stroke play qualifying medalist in the Michigan Junior State Amateur.
“I had not played much golf for a while, but I came out here and in the first round everything just clicked,” he said. “Today was tougher, but I played decent.”
He said getting up and down for a birdie on the fourth hole was the key to the round.
“I was over by five tee box,” he said. “It was not a good spot, but I got it up and down and that kept things going. It kept me going.”
Ly’s big summer was highlighted by winning the Ontario Junior Championship. She said birdies were hard to come by in the final round.
“I made birdies yesterday, but today I just kept making pars,” she said. “My goal is always just to do my best and play my game. I did that, and it was good enough to win. I feel really good about that.”
A field of 88 golfers, 48 boys and 40 girls, played in the championship. The players were invited by the GAM based on performances in a variety of state and national competitions in 2018.
RESULTS: Complete scoring can be found at gam.org under the championships tab.