Written By: Greg Johnson
EAST LANSING – The Forest Akers golf facilities on the campus of Michigan State University are hosting the Michigan Girls’ Junior State Amateur for the ninth time in the 45 years of the championship, this time on the West course starting Monday.
The championship for the top age 18-and-under golfers in the state combines stroke play and match play with 36-holes of stroke play Monday and Tuesday to determine match play brackets in the overall championship division and a 15-and-under division.
The low 16 scorers after stroke play advance to match play with two rounds Wednesday and Thursday determining a champion. The 15-and-under division has an eight-golfer match play bracket.
Forest Akers West is home to the successful Michigan State golf teams. It is one of two courses at the facility (East and West), both of which were redesigned by Michigan State alumnus 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.
The players in the field, 18-and-under and not yet college students or golfers, are familiar with the Forest Akers properties, which have hosted several GAM junior events, the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship as well as high school state championship tournaments over the years.
Bryan Harris is the PGA golf professional and general manager at Forest Akers and Ben Keeler is the golf course superintendent. Learn more at golf.msu.edu.
Lauren Timpf of Macomb, the 2021 overall champion and 2020 15-and-under winner, returns to this year’s field of 93 golfers. When she won the overall title in 2021 she was the youngest winner in the tournament’s history at age 14.
Grace Slocum of Traverse City, last year’s 15-and-under winner, has moved up and will compete for the overall title. Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor, the 2021 15-and-under winner, is in the field for the overall title as well.
The championship has a storied past with winners like Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and LPGA Tour player Suzy Green-Roebuck, LPGA Tour player Stacy Snider and current LPGA Epson Tour player and 2022 Michigan Women’s Open winner Sarah White.