CLARKSTON – Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll rallied from behind to win the GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for an unprecedented 11th time Wednesday.
The 49-year-old Michigan State University women’s golf coach and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member shot a 3-under 33 on the back nine in a closing 1-under 71 at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club to win by two shots over defending champion and first-round leader Kimberly Dinh of Midland.
“I was thinking this morning actually about Coach D (Mark Dantonio, former MSU football coach) and one of his mottos – ‘why not me,’” Slobodnik-Stoll said after accepting the Jeanne L. Myers Trophy once again.
“I think you know when you’re two behind you always have a shot, and why not me? I’ve done it before.”
Slobodnik-Stoll, a Haslett resident, has amassed a record 21 amateur individual and team titles over the years, including two Michigan Women’s Amateur wins, a GAM Championship and the 11 Mid-Amateur titles.
“I put another golf ball in my jar at home of the tournaments that I’ve won, and today is the 20th wedding anniversary for Jim and me, so I thought winning would be a good way to spend the day,” she said. “He is out caddying in the (U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco) for Sarah Burnham (former MSU golfer and LPGA Tour player) right now.”
Slobodnik-Stoll said she plans to continue competing and is eyeing the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship as a future goal.
“I just hope to always be a role model for the younger players,” she said. “You can still play for a long time and compete, and it’s fun. There’s no reason to ever give up playing. Look at what Phil Mickelson did just last week.”
Slobodnik-Stoll’s 71 gave her a 145 total for the tournament, topping Dinh, who finished with a 75 for 147.
Chelsea Collura of Riverview shot 79 for 153 and third place. University of Michigan women’s coach Jan Dowling, who shot 77 for 154, rounded out the top four.
“I played pretty steady, but didn’t make any putts today,” said Dinh, a 28-year-old senior research specialist at Dow Chemical.
“Then Stacy started stuffing it in there and making birdies on the back nine. She played great and I just didn’t hit it close enough to give myself good looks at birdie.”
Champions were also crowned in two other gross-scoring divisions.
Julie Massa, the reigning GAM Senior Player of the Year, opted to play in the senior division in the Mid-Amateur for the first time and won by seven shots. The former two-time Mid-Amateur winner shot 80 for 154. Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc closed with a 79 for 161 and second place.
“I love coming out and seeing everyone and playing a great course that was in perfect shape for us,” Massa said. “I struggled some today, no birdies, but fortunately I had the lead. I made it through and it feels good to win.”
In the 19-24 age-group division Alexa Hatz of Novi, a University of Detroit Mercy golfer, shot a final 77 for 150 to win. Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield, a University of Michigan golfer, shot 77 for 152 and second.
“It was fun and it always feels great to win,” Hatz said. “I played much better yesterday (she shot 73) and did enough good things today.”
Slobodnik-Stoll, who just returned from the NCAA Championships with her Big Ten Conference title-winning team still trailed through 11 holes of the final round, but made birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 16 to pass Dinh.
“I haven’t practiced in a while, as usual, for this time of year, but I’ve been hitting it okay when I have played a few times,” Slobodnik-Stoll said. “I just tried to have a good attitude and see what might happen. I hit a few shots inside six feet and it was a good day.”