Tyler Hurtubise, Lilia Henkel Claim Big Wins in 10th GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship

Hurtubise from Essex in Canada, and Lilia Henkel of Grand Rapids each consider the
10th GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship their biggest wins so far in their
young golf careers.

   Hurtubise, 15, followed up an 8-under 64 on
Wednesday with a 68 Thursday to shoot a 12-under 132 and win among the boys by
seven shots, and Henkel followed up a 68 with a 72 for 140 and an eight-shot
win among the girls in the age group championship presented by Pepsi at Forest
Akers East golf course.

  “I kind of surprised
myself to be honest with you,” said Hurtubise, who attends Essex High School
north of Windsor. “Yesterday was by far my best round ever and today was my
second best round ever.”

  Henkel, who was an
All-State golfer at Forest Hills Northern as a freshman last year, said she has
been working on her mental game.

   “I tried to work on my mental game for when I’m
in position to win, and today I knew I was in the lead by four shots so I just
tried to play my best golf, and I played well,” she said. “I’m excited that I
did it.”

  Davis Codd of
Brighton followed up a first-round 65 with a 74 for 139 and second place among
the boys. Josh Lavely of Kewadin shot a closing 72 for 140 and third place.

  Jolie Brochu of
Goodrich shot 76 for 148 to take second among the girls, and Savannah Haque of
Rochester Hills shot 74 for 149 and third place.

  Winners were also
determined in the age 12-and-under ranks, who played nine holes each day for
18-hole totals.

  Griffin Mawson of
Traverse City shot 38 on Thursday for a 73 total to win among the boys, and
Georgia Bosart of Clarkston shot 43 for 87 to take the top spot among the

 Eric Shen of Ann
Arbor, who shot 41, and Troy Watson of Westland, who shot 39, tied for second
place at 79 in the 12-and-under boys’ competition.

 Averie Pumford of
Freeland, who shot 41 for 89, was second among the 12-and-under girls, and
Abbie Pietila of Brighton was third with a 98 total.

  Hurtubise said he is
grateful that the Golf Association of Michigan expands its borders to member golfers
across the bridge in Canada.

  “I get to play
against more competition, better golfers,” he said. “I want to get a golf
scholarship (at a U.S. college) and like everyone my dream is to be on the PGA

  Hurtubise said he
had just one bogey, but otherwise played the best golf of his young life.

    “Everything was really smooth,” he said. “I
was way more nervous starting today, but by the end I knew I was winning by
quite a bit so I smoothly played my way in.”

  Henkel, who said her
goal in golf for now is a Division 1 scholarship and thanked her teacher
Brandon Roby of Cascade Hills Country Club for his help, used her length off
the tee to her advantage. She hits her drives in the 240 yards range.

  “I took advantage of
the par 5s and reached all of them in two shots,” she said. “That really

  She was especially
happy with a tap-in birdie at the par 5 No. 6 hole.

  “I pushed my drive
in the right rough, but then I hit a 5-iron on to 10 feet,” she said. “That was
a good hole for me.”

   The winners from Thursday join an impressive
list of past winners. Two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur champion and this
year’s GAM Women’s Champion, Allyson Geer of Brighton and now the Michigan
State golf team cites the stroke play tournament as her first significant win
in Michigan. James Piot of Canton and Andrew Walker of Battle Creek, both
current Michigan State golfers, are also on the list of past winners.

-Greg Johnson, [email protected]