Maya Hunter, Elayna Bowser Share Medalist Honors in Michigan Women’s Amateur at Plum Hollow Country Club

Written By: Greg Johnson

SOUTHFIELD – Maya Hunter of St. Joseph and Elayna Bowser of Dearborn shared stroke play medalist honors and will be the top two seeds in match play starting Wednesday in the 108th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland.

Hunter, a recent graduate of Northern Michigan University, shot a 2-under 68 Tuesday at Plum Hollow Country Club after opening with a 77 Monday for 5-over 145.

And Bowser, the 2019 Michigan Amateur Champion, shot an even-par round of 70 following a 75 from Monday for 145.

Three golfers played off at 161 for the final two spots in the match-play bracket. The round of 32 is Wednesday with the round of 16 and quarterfinals on Thursday and the semifinals and the championship match scheduled for Friday.

Hunter, who was a two-time all-conference first-team golfer at NMU, said her goal was to make the cut and get into match play. She missed a year ago.

“I wasn’t trying to do anything special, just hit the shots,” she said. “I was a little nervous coming into this morning because I didn’t play as well as I wanted to yesterday, but I was telling myself I’m grateful to be out here, and it’s a great day to play golf.”

Bowser, now working as a realtor and the winner of the recent GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, said without being able to play and practice as much as she did as a collegiate player, she came in planning to hit fairways and greens and make a lot of pars.

“I played the course last week and knew it was going to be a challenge, so my game plan was – pars are good out here,” she said. “Today’s round was up-and-down though. I think I had seven birdies and a couple doubles and some bogeys but shot even par at the end of the day. I’m happy with even par on this course.”

Two golfers tied for the second-best score. Lilia Henkel of Grand Rapids, a University of Delaware golfer, shot even-par 70 for 147, and Ashleigh Duflo of Ada and the University of Findlay (Ohio), who was one of three golfers tied for the lead through the first round, shot 74 for her 147 total.

Amaya Melendez of Ann Arbor was alone at 148 after a second consecutive 74, and next at 149 was a trio of golfers, including 2022 Women’s Amateur champion Anci Dy of Traverse City and the University of Indianapolis, who shot 72, Central Michigan University commit Lauren Davis of Coopersville, who shot 76, and Grand Valley State University standout Olivia Stoll of Haslett, who shot 72.

Hunter, who is planning on graduate school and hoping to use her final year of golf eligibility wherever she lands, said she is looking forward to match play.

“I haven’t played match play in a while, but I love it,” she said. “I think my plan is to just play within myself with no real expectations and take it as it comes.”

Bowser, 27, has considerable experience in match play and said she is excited but also knows what to expect.

“I’ve played this event in the past and I’ve had some unbelievable matches where I’ve shot great scores and lost, so I’m aware of match play,” she said. “Anything can happen, so again, I just want to come out, hit fairways and greens, make pars and hope that’s good enough.”