Michigan Women’s Amateur Sweet 16 Includes Some Surprises

 EAST LANSING – Natalie Samdal, a Davenport University golfer from Caledonia, knocked out Michigan State University women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, two-time past champion and local favorite, and 13-year-old Lauren Timpf of Macomb won a match to join the “Sweet 16.”

  Those were the two most surprising results from Monday’s first-round of matches in the 104th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Michigan State’s Forest Akers West Golf Course.

“My parents actually went to high school with Stacy so we kind of had a little fun connecting there and that definitely helped the mood,” said the 19-year-old Samdal who was runner-up in the prestigious Spring Lake Invitational earlier this summer and sidelined Slobodnik-Stoll, last year’s runner-up, 3 and 2.

  “It helped that I played against Joan Garety (another Michigan Golf Hall of Famer) a few weeks ago (at Spring Lake). I just went with the same mindset and tried to play it as just another match. Golf is different for every person.”

  Timpf, meanwhile, has dominated at the junior level winning four consecutive events, including three this summer and the 15-and-under title last week in the Michigan Junior Girls Amateur Championship. She said she didn’t feel nervous or intimidated in turning back Oakland University golfer Sydney Martens of Washington 3 and 2.

  “It didn’t feel a lot different from playing in a junior tournament and the yardage wasn’t that big of a difference,” said Timpf, who will be a freshman in the fall at Macomb Lutheran High School. “I’m also just trying to block everything else and play one shot at a time. My goal coming into the tournament was to make match play. Now my goal is to play as hard as I can and see what happens.”

  Records for the 104-year-old tournament are incomplete, but it is possible that Timpf is the youngest golfer to make the Sweet 16.

  The 16 golfers moving on include four high school golfers including Timpf and nine collegiate golfers. Jessica Krattiger of Saginaw, who works in IT sales, is a former Ohio State University golfer and a reinstated amateur. She is 33 and the oldest player in the final 16.

  The surprise winners, Samdal and Timpf, will meet each other in the round of 16 Tuesday morning. The quarterfinal matches follow Tuesday afternoon and the semifinals and final match are Wednesday.

  Medalist and top seed Anna Kramer of Spring Lake and the University of Indianapolis moved on with a 5 and 4 win over Anci Dy of Traverse City.

  Kate Brody, last year’s GAM 15-and-under Junior Player of the Year from Grand Blanc, moved on and meets Kramer.

  Ariel Chang of Macomb Township, 17 and last week’s overall champion in the Michigan Girls Junior State Amateur, is moving on, as is Kimberly Dinh, the 28-year-old chemical engineer from Midland who won the GAM Mid-Amateur Championship earlier this summer.

  Kerrigan Parks of Flushing, the 2018 Michigan Women’s Amateur champion who last week won the West Virginia Women’s Amateur, also moved on.

  Another young surprise in the Sweet 16 is Ryann Breslin, who is 16 and a Grand Rapids Christian High School golfer. She is the great-granddaughter of Jack Breslin, a Michigan State legend whose name adorns the nearby Breslin Center.

The “Sweet 16” are:

Anna Kramer, 21, Spring Lake, University of Indianapolis golfer

Kate Brody, 15, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc High School golfer

Lauren Timpf, 13, Macomb, Macomb Lutheran North High School golfer

Natalie Samdal, 19, Caledonia, Davenport University golfer

Ariel Chang, 17, Macomb Township, Utica Eisenhower High School golfer

Kimberly Dinh, 28, Midland, chemical engineer at Dow Chemical

Mackenzie Blomberg, 23, Grand Rapids, banquet operations at Thornapple Point GC

Ryann Breslin, 16, Alto, Grand Rapids Christian High School golfer

Nichole Cox, 21, Empire, Bowling Green State University golfer

Annie Pietila, 19, Brighton, recent Brighton High School graduate

Elizabeth Harding, 20, Beverly Hills, transferring college golfer

Jessica Krattiger, 33, Saginaw, IT sales Cherry Road Technologies

Anika Dy, 19, Traverse City, University of Michigan golfer

Kay Zubkus, 19, Ada, Oakland University golfer

Kerrigan Parks, 20, Flushing, Marshall University golfer

Danielle Staskowski, 18, Clarkston, Ferris State University golfer


-Greg Johnson, [email protected]