Hamilton Wins Michigan Women’s Amateur With Long Putt

ROCHESTER — ?Britney Hamilton (Lake Orion/Western Michigan University) sunk a 19-foot putt on the 18th hole at Great Oaks Country Club to win the Michigan Women?s Amateur. She defeated Natalie Brehm (Mount Pleasant/Michigan State University) 1 up.
Hamilton was 2 up on the front nine, but at the turn Brehm was 3 up. Brehm was 1 up going into 17 and when Hamilton shot her ball into the water she thought the match was over. But her chip to the green landed a foot from the hole and Brehm three putted to make things even going into 18.
?I knew I had to win 17 to have a chance,? said Hamilton. ?I hit my 9-iron into the water which I think was my worst shot of the week.? I thought I had a chance if I could just put it close to the hole on my chip so when it landed so close to the hole I breathed a sigh of relief.?
Both Brehm and Hamiltion landed about 19 feet away from the pin on the 18th green. Hamilton sunk her long putt and Brehm?s ball slid past the hole.
?My putt was more luck than skill,? said Hamilton.
Brehm has no regrets about her aggressive play on the 18th hole.
?I knew I had to win the hole and if I had left the putt short I would have been really mad at myself,? said Brehm. ?I can definitely say that Britney won the championship. She had some nice putts and she played really well. I don?t feel like I gave anything up.?
Hamilton was sidelined for most of the 2008 golf season with a wrist injury. She had surgery and spent most of the summer in a cast. So to be in championship form just one year later has inspired her to push herself even harder at WMU this year.
?I am going to work harder because I got a taste of winning now,? said Hamilton. ?This is the first championship I?ve won since high school and my first match play championship ever.?
This week?s Michigan Women?s Amateur marks only the second time Hamilton has competed in match play.
Hamilton admits she was feeling emotionally down when Brehm was 3 up on the 10th tee. She told herself she had nothing to lose at that point.
?At that point I was really able to relax,? said Hamilton.
Hamilton is a friend and former teammate of 2007 and 2008 Michigan Women?s Amateur champion Laura Bavaird, who was in the gallery for the quarterfinal round on Friday. Last summer when she was sporting her cast and couldn?t play golf, Hamilton was cheering Bavaird on when she won the 2008 title.
?Last year I came out and watched Laura?s final match,? said Hamilton. ?She told me when she was holding the trophy that I had better get my name on it this year. So I told her ?OK, done!? So now my name will be on here with hers.?
In the semifinal round, Hamilton defeated Christine Meier (Rochester Hills/Rochester High School) 4&3. Brehm defeated her opponent, Gabrielle Yurik (Oakland Twp./Stoney Creek High School) 3&2.