Hard-Working Veronica Haque Earns Top Seed at Michigan Women?s Amateur

SAGINAW – Veronica Haque of Rochester Hills is clearly a popular No. 1 seed at the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland.

  Several family, friends and fellow golfers offered congratulations to the Oakland University golfer who shot a 1-under 70 for 143 and stroke play medalist honors Tuesday at Saginaw Country Club.

  “This definitely means a lot to me,” said Haque who has been a top finisher many times without a GAM victory.

   “It shows how all my hard work over the years is paying off. I’ve been close so many times and it has been a little heartbreaking, but it has also been my biggest motivation to keep working hard.”

  She will be the top seed in the bracket of 32 as match play in the championship starts Wednesday and continues through Friday.

  Ariel Chang of Macomb, last summer’s Michigan Junior Girls’ State Amateur champion, shot 74 for 144 and the No. 2 seed.

  Two University of Michigan golfers, Anika Dy of Traverse City and Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield, finished at 146 after Dy shot 76 and Schulz checked in with a 71.

   Katie Chipman of Plymouth, who finished second to Aya Johnson in the 2017 Women’s Amateur, which was also played at Saginaw CC, shot 71 for 147.

  Defending champion Anna Kramer of Spring Lake tied for eighth with a 150 via a 78 and easily moved on to match play.

  In the first round of match play Haque will meet Annie Pietila, a semifinalist a year ago, who this time earned the final match play spot in a six-golfer playoff for three spots at 160. She birdied the third playoff hole to net the last slot.

  “I’m going in to tomorrow with an open mind – anything can happen in match play,” Pietila said. “I’m paying Veronica and I’m excited. We have played golf together for a long time so I’m looking forward to playing her.”

  Haque said confidence will be the key for her moving forward in the tournament.

  “I know when I’m confident I can strike the ball better, just like these past two days,” she said. “Even though it’s match play and it’s different, I know that when I’m confident and aggressive then I’ll be able to pull off the shots I need.”

  Chang, who is headed for golf at the University of Detroit Mercy in the fall, said her chipping and putting let her down in the second round.

  “I guess I wasn’t feeling it as well as yesterday,” she said. “I think I three-putted twice, and they were very unnecessary.”

  Chang said she will take a one-hole-at-a-time approach into match play.

  “I’m going to keep it below the hole on my approach shots and not think about my scoring,” she said. “That’s how I do my best.”