DEJA CHIPMAN: Canton?s Katie Chipman Sets Pace Again in Michigan Women’s Amateur

   REDFORD – For the
second consecutive year Canton’s Katie Chipman has set the first-round pace in
the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship.

  The 20-year-old
junior-to-be at Grand Valley State University, who was runner-up to Aya Johnson
of Muskegon in last year’s championship, shot a 2-under 70 Monday in the 102nd
edition of the Amateur being presented by Carl’s Golfland at Western Golf &
Country Club.  

  Elayna Bowser of
Dearborn, a Loyola University of Chicago golfer fresh off playing in last week’s
U.S. Women’s Amateur and Sarah Shipley, a University of Kentucky golfer from
Hastings, were next with 72s as just three golfers finished par or better on
the Donald Ross-designed course.

  Chelsea Collura of
Riverview, a 24-year-old assistant manager at Nuggett Leasing in Flat Rock,
shot 73.

  Nichole Cox, a
Bowling Green State University golfer from Empire, and Mia Sooch of South Lyon,
a 15-year-old Farmington Mercy High School golfer and Catholic League champion,
shot 74s.

  The field of 80 golfers
plays 18 more holes of stroke play Tuesday to determine the low 32 scorers and
seeds to fill out the match play bracket. Match play starts Wednesday and
continues through Friday to determine a champion.

  Chipman said she is
playing this year with a different though process.

  “Last year I had never
reached the Sweet 16 before and I ended up going all the way to the finals,”
she said. “I didn’t really have a plan for what happened. This year I’m trying
not to think about it being a five-day tournament. I want to take it
day-by-day. It’s just a two-day stroke play tournament right now. I’m focusing
on that.”

  Chipman made six
birdies in her round, highlighted by reaching the par 5 No. 5 hole with a
232-yard 5-wood shot to five feet and making birdie. She also made a 25-foot
birdie putt on No. 18, her ninth hole of the day, after hitting what she called
a poor wedge shot to the green.

  “Last year helps me
in just having more confidence and knowing that if I put myself in position, it
can happen again,” she said. “I’m going to take it one step at a time, but it
helps knowing what it takes to get all the way to Friday.”

   The 21-year-old Bowser, who will be a senior
in the fall at Loyola, said last week’s experience in Tennessee at the U.S.
Women’s Amateur has given her a different feeling about her golf.

  “It’s one of the
best things that have happened to me for my golf game, even though I didn’t
play well,” she said. “I found out that I was able to compete against those
nationally ranked players, so coming here I just have way more confidence.”

  Shipley, who is 20
and will be a junior at Kentucky, said she was frustrated with her putting in
the round, but didn’t feel poorly about shooting even par.

  “It helps that I
finished well after having three bogeys in a row,” she said. “A lot of my
birdie putts were five and six feet and none of them were going in. I was
frustrated, but I stayed calm and kept putting my approaches close. If I keep
doing that, the putts will start to fall soon.”

-Greg Johnson, [email protected]