Caledonia’s Sarah White Shoots 63, Wins Michigan PGA Women’s Open
THOMPSONVILLE – Sarah White of Caledonia shot a 9-under 63 Wednesday to rally from five shots behind and win the 29th Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship on the Mountain Ridge course at Crystal Mountain.
White, 24 and playing on the LPGA Epson Tour with a quick stop in her home state to play in the Michigan Open, made eight birdies, an eagle and just one bogey in shooting 63 for a 6-under 210 total and four-shot win.
“It means a lot every time you win a golf tournament because you know that all of your hard work is paying off,” she said after collecting the $7,000 first-place check. “When it is your week to win, you get the good bounces, you know, and you have all the momentum.”
Mini-tour professional Jessica Welch of Thomasville, Ga., shot 69 for 214 and second place, while Crystal Wang of Los Angeles and the University of Illinois shot 73 for 216, third place and low amateur honors.
Caroline Powers-Ellis, the assistant women’s golf coach at Michigan State University, shot 71 for 217 and was tied with first-round leader Sandra Angulo Minarro of Mexico, who closed with a 72.
Sarah Burnham, the 2020 Michigan PGA Women’s Open winner and former Michigan State star who played on the LPGA Tour last year, shot 71 and was part of the group at 218. She was also paired with White in the final round and said the champion was hitting every shot well.
“I think her putter was feeling pretty nice, too,” she said. “She had a good confident round going and it was fun to see her do so well. It did remind me of when I won in 2020. I shot 9-under in the last round to win. I knew what she was feeling.”
White got a call from her brother Brett White, who is playing on the Korn Ferry Tour in Colorado this week soon after the round. He told her a Michigan golf fact; They are the first brother-sister duo to hold Michigan Open titles. Brett won the Michigan Open Championship in 2020.
“It’s super fun knowing we both are Michigan Open champs, and he told me now he has to try and one-up me,” said Sarah, who has been making sports news for years since her days as a goalie on the boy’s hockey team at East Kentwood High School.
“And it is fun to know that going back on the Epson Tour I’ve got a win under my belt this summer and the confidence that comes with that. I’m trying to keep my Epson card and trying to get on the LPGA Tour, so this helps fund my travel and gives me a better chance.”
White, who won her very first Epson Tour event in 2020, birdied three of the first five holes to start Wednesday and then rifled a 200-yard 4-iron to two feet for an eagle-3 on the par 5 No. 6 hole.
“That’s when I knew I had a chance, and that I might have that special round going,” she said. “At the start I was just going out to see how many birdies I could make and maybe get back into it. I did.”
She made her only bogey of the day on the par 4 No. 16 hole but followed it up with a 20-yard flop-shot chip-in for birdie on the downhill par 3 17th.
“The 4-iron for a tap-in at 6 was huge, but that chip in at 17 was pretty good, too,” she said. “I hit it perfectly, just like I had it drawn up in my head, and it took the big break going downhill and went in. It was that kind of day for me. A 63 is my best round ever in a tournament and to get it to win the Michigan Open makes it really special.”
White’s father Doug and Sarah’s 92-year-old grandmother Madeline were on hand for the tournament and celebration in the end.
“I have a great big support system and I love that, and it was great to see the gallery and all the volunteers here cheering us on,” White said. “I think women’s golf has come a long way and I played with a lot of these girls growing up. We cheer each other on, and women supporting women is a huge thing and Crystal Mountain supporting women’s golf is a huge thing. Having Grandma here to see it was super cool, too.”
ABOUT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN: Crystal Mountain was established in 1956, and is a family-owned, four-season resort that is nationally recognized for its skiing, golf, and award-winning spa. Located in northwest-lower-Michigan, a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the resort features downhill and cross-country skiing, the Michigan Legacy Art Park, 36 holes of championship golf on two courses, Michigan’s only alpine slide, an outdoor water playground, a variety of lodging and dining options, year-round activities and kids programs, an IACC-approved conference center, weddings, real estate and the Crystal Spa. Visit crystalmountain.com.