Macomb’s Lauren Timpf, Ann Arbor’s Ieaun Jones Win GAM Junior Stroke Play Titles
EAST LANSING – Lauren Timpf of Macomb won an unprecedented fifth consecutive Golf Association of Michigan tournament in her age group, and Ieaun Jones of Ann Arbor won his third junior title in the 12th GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship at Forest Akers East Golf Course Tuesday.
Timpf, the 13-year-old who has taken the summer by storm, rallied from behind with a final-round 4-under 67 to win the overall title (ages 13-15) by three shots over first-round leader Samantha Coleman of Northville, who shot a closing 72 for 142.
Jones, meanwhile, followed up a sizzling 65 from Monday with a final 69 and a two-shot win over Jeffrey Andrus of Bloomfield Hills, who rallied with a closing 65, the low round of the day. The 14-year-old Jones previously won the 2019 GAM Junior Invitational in his age group and the 2019 GAM 14-and-under Match Play.
Champions were also crowned Tuesday in age 12 & under divisions where they played two days of nine-hole rounds.
Brady Berkemeier of Grand Rapids topped a trio of boy golfers by two shots with a final-round 37 for a 75 total.
And for the second consecutive year Avery Manning of Dexter won the 12 & under girls title. She ran away to a nine-shot win with a closing 39 for 73.
Tournament Director Kyle Wolfe of the GAM said Timpf’s five consecutive wins are now being referred to as the “Timpf Slam.”
Her 15-and-under wins include the 2019 season-closing GAM Invitational, the 2020 GAM Junior Kickoff, the 2020 Michigan Junior Girls State Amateur, the GAM 14-and-under Match Play and Tuesday’s Junior Stroke Play. She also reached the quarterfinals of the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship and pushed eventual champion Anna Kramer to the final hole.
“I feel like my hard work is paying off,” Timpf said when asked about the streak of wins. “I’ve worked a lot on my game over these past couple of years to get where I am today.”
Timpf, who had a two-day total of 3-under 139, trailed Coleman by two shots to start the day. She made those up quickly with back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes.
“That was the key to the round because I made 10-foot putts for both of them and it got me going, but I was trying not to pay attention to what others were doing,” she said. “I knew I had to play a solid round to win and I was able to do that.”
Defending champion Elise Fennell of Caledonia rallied with a 67 for 143 and third place among the 13-to-15 girls. Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor shot 70 and tied at 144 with Adie Maki of Canton, who shot a second consecutive 72.
Timpf, who has several tournaments ahead on her schedule this summer, said it was an honor to be in the Junior Stroke Play.
“And to win is even better,” she said.
Jones 65 on Monday put him three shots ahead of Hank Roebuck of Ann Arbor, a Skyline High teammate to be, to start the day. He afterward it is easier to come from behind than to hang on to a lead.
“I think making a rally is easier because it is easier to know what you have to get to than to where you might need to be – that sort of thing,” he said. “I made a lot of putts yesterday, and not as many today. But I hit good shots and made pars. It always feels awesome to win.”
Robert Burns, the recent 15-and-under winner at the Michigan Junior State Amateur, shot 67 for 140. He was part of a three-way tied for third behind Jones and Andrus with Matthew Novak of Mattawan and Kole Putnam of Gaylord, who each shot 69 in the final round.
Berkemeier was followed in the boys 12-and-under by JP Levan of Grand Rapids, who shot 39 for 77, Colin Riehl of Novi, who shot 42 for 77, and Matthew Murdock of Ada, who shot 40 for 77.
Manning, who had a 34 on Monday, was never challenged. Anika Srivastava of Okemos was second with a 42 for 82, and Manning’s sister Madison, who shot 42 for 86, tied for third with Audrey Sokorai of Ada, who shot 44 in the final.
Forest Akers East, one of two courses on the campus of Michigan State University, hosted the championship for the fourth consecutive year.
via Greg Johnson