CLASSIC MATCH: Flushing?s Kerrigan Parks Claims Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship

  REDFORD – Flushing’s
Kerrigan Parks said the great competition through the week in the 102nd Michigan
Women’s Amateur Championship at Western Golf & Country Club, and especially
from her final opponent Elayna Bowser of Dearborn, brought out her best golf.

  “It was different
being in the championship match with Elayna, but we always play great against each
other so I knew it would be tough,” said the 19-year-old Marshall University soon-to-be
sophomore after winning a dramatic final match in 19 holes with a par.

  “It feels great to
win this championship. It’s for sure the biggest one I’ve won. I didn’t know if
it was possible, but I just kept thinking make it to the top eight, then top
four and I kept going. Then I said to myself, ‘I can win this thing.’ It was a
long week. My feet are pretty sore, and Elayna was so tough to beat. I feel

  The 21-year-old Bowser, who will be a senior
in a few days at Loyola University of Chicago, said she was proud of her

  “It went 19 holes
against a good player, I didn’t give up ever and I gave it my all,” she said. “Kerrigan
played solid. I feel like she always plays extra solid against me. It’s almost
like we bring out the best in each other’s games.”

   Parks hit a tee shot right into the trees and
made a bogey on the first hole to fall behind, and Bowser quickly went 2-up on
the second hole with a 12-foot birdie putt. It was the largest lead anybody
would have the rest of the way.

  Parks stormed back
though with wins on three consecutive holes, Nos. 4, 5 and 6 to take a 1-up
lead. Bowser rallied with a birdie on the par 5 No. 8 hole to tie the match.

  At No. 11 it was
Parks who made birdie to go 1-up, but Bowser birdied No. 13 to tie it again.

  The rollercoaster golf
continued with Parks winning No. 14 with a par and Bowser winning No. 15 with a
par before Parks birdied 16 to take a 1-up lead and Bowser birdied 17 to tie it
again. They halved 18 and went to No. 1 again.

  Bowser’s approach
shot from the fairway drifted short right near a bunker, and she ended up
having to chip from the rough twice. Parks rolled in an 8-foot par-saving putt
after leaving her first putt short for the win.

  “It was basically my
only bad iron shot of the day, unfortunately it came on that hole,” Bowser said
of her approach shot on the playoff hole. “I wanted to stay below the hole so I
took kind of an easy swing at it, and I probably should have gone full throttle
at it. It came up a little short right and unfortunately I had a bad lie on an
ant hill by the bunker. But what are you going to do? It happens.”

  Parks, the 2017 GAM
Champion and a two-time Michigan Junior State Amateur Champion, said her nerves
got to her more than usual at the start of the final match.

  “I hit a pretty bad
drive on one, lost the hole and Elayna made birdie so I was down,” she said. “I
knew I would come back though, and on the back nine I was hitting the middle of
the green and just trying to make birdies. Elayna is a great putter. She can
make it from anywhere. I wish I could putt like she can.”

  Parks said the win
will give her great confidence heading back to college golf.

 “It’s a great ending
to the summer,” she said. “It was really a special week.”