Highland’s Julia Stevenson Keeps it Simple, Leads 2020 GAM Women’s Championship
MUSKEGON – Highland’s Julia Stevenson was keeping it simple.
“I try not to make it harder than what it needs to be,” said the recent Eastern Michigan University graduate and golfer whose 1-under 71 set the pace in the first round of the 29th GAM Women’s Championship Monday at Muskegon Country Club.
“I try to limit the bad shots and just keep it simple by hitting my shots to a certain range. It’s definitely a tough course so I focused on the fairway, tried to hit all the greens and always think about where I want my next shot to be.”
Stevenson, 22 and heading back to Eastern to get her MBA, was the only player under par in the field of 76 top Golf Association of Michigan member golfers. Another round on Tuesday will determine a champion, and 14 golfers will start the round within four shots of the lead.
Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield, a freshman-to-be at the University of Michigan, and Kim Dinh, of Midland, a former University of Wisconsin golfer who recently completed her PhD in Chemistry at MIT, each checked in at 72, one shot off the lead.
Yurika Tanida of East Lansing, last year’s GAM Women’s Player of the Year and a Michigan State University standout, opened with a 73 and was tied with Olivia Stoll of Haslett, the 16-year-old daughter of her MSU coach, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll.
Another Spartan, Haylin Harris of Carmel, Ind., University of Michigan golfer Anika Dy of Traverse City and former University of Nevada golfer Chaithra Katamneni of Midland made up the group at 74.
Recent Michigan Women’s Amateur Champion Anna Kramer of Spring Lake and the University of Indianapolis who works at Muskegon CC as a bag attendant, headed the group of six golfers who shot 75.
The others in the 75 group were five-time GAM Senior Women’s Player of the Year Julie Massa of Holt, Grand Valley State standout Katie Chipman of Canton, Oakland University golfer Kay Zubkus of Ada, Grand Valley golfer Maria Sol Pose of Allendale and Sabel Imesch of Grosse Pointe Farms.
Stevenson, who is planning to balance getting her MBA with becoming a golf professional, was 2-under playing her final hole of the day, the par 4 No. 9.
“My drive just rolled into the long grass and it was stuck down in there a little bit,” she said. “I just got it out of there up in front of the green and was able to make bogey. That’s the kind of thing I was trying to limit all day.”
She finished with four birdies and three bogeys.
“It was a good day. I like playing in tournaments. I keep trying to win one, I keep it simple and try to do my best each round.”
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SCORES For The 2020 GAM Women’s Championship: https://bit.ly/2C59Dus
via Greg Johnson