Written By: Greg Johnson
EAST LANSING – Forest Akers West, home to the successful Michigan State University golf teams, is once again hosting the top junior boy and girl golfers in the state for the 11th GAM Junior Invitational Championship presented by Absopure on Saturday and Sunday.
The elite field will play 36 holes of stroke play over the two days to determine a boy and girl overall champion as well as winners in the 15-and-under division. The players were invited by the GAM based on performances in GAM championships and a variety of other state and national competitions.
Forest Akers has two golf courses, East and West, and both were redesigned by Michigan State alum and highly regarded golf course designer Arthur Hills in 1992. The West plays from 5,278 yards to 7,013 yards with five tee positions and hosts the Big Ten home competition for the Spartans.
Bryan Harris, a PGA professional, is the general manager and Ben Keeler is the superintendent. Learn more at golf.msu.edu.
The players in the field are familiar with the Forest Akers properties, which have hosted several GAM junior events as well as high school state championship tournaments over the years.
Max VanderMolen of Richland is the defending boys’ champion and is returning to the field. Kate Brody, the girls’ champion, aged out of the competition and is now on the golf team at the University of Wisconsin.
Both 15-and-under Division champions, Ian Masih of Okemos and Grace Slocum of Traverse City, are defending their titles.
This summer’s Michigan Junior State Amateur Champion, Will Preston of Grand Rapids, and the 15-and-under champion Troy Nguyen are entered, as is Esther Zhang of Ann Arbor, who won the 15-and-under title at the Michigan Junior Girls’ State Amateur.
GAM Junior Kickoff winners Brian Tillman of Chelsea and Jessica Jolly of Rockford are in the field, as is GAM Junior Stroke Play boys’ winner Cooper Reitsma of Ada.
GAM 14-and-under Match Play champions Julian Sinishtaj of Macomb and Saisha Patil of Okemos are also playing this weekend.