GAM

GOLF ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

Saginaw’s Chaithra Katamneni Highlights Michigan Women’s Amateur ‘Sweet 16’

SAGINAW – Chaithra Katamneni recently moved to Saginaw from Midland and she just might become a hometown favorite in the 105th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship being played at Saginaw Country Club.

  Katamneni, a former University of Nevada golfer playing in her first Michigan Women’s Amateur, won her round of 32 match Wednesday to earn a spot in the prestigious “Sweet 16” of the state championship presented by Carl’s Golfland.

  She topped Kendall Payne of Livonia 3 and 2 and declared that she loved coming out to Saginaw Country Club.

  “They’ve had a couple of events I played in and they have an amazing course and amazing volunteers,” said the 24-year-old medical assistant at Saginaw Valley Medical Center.

  “This (tournament) is interesting because I’ve never had a walking scorer before so that w  as really cool. I love the GAM events. You guys always do such a great job and the courses are well-maintained. Everything was great.”

  Katamneni’s game was apparently pretty good, too.

  She led her match most of the day and with a 3-up lead made a 12-foot putt to tie the No. 16 hole and close out the win.

  “It would be great to be a local winner,” she said. “I haven’t won in a while. I was third at the GAM Championship last summer. I’ve had some solid rounds this year and I played pretty well at the Atlas Cup. I’m just trying to put together some good rounds and maybe win this summer.”

   Katamneni, formerly from Texas, and Elayna Bowser, the 2019 Women’s Amateur champion who has since turned professional, qualified and played in the LPGA Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in 2019.  They will be in the same field in two weeks at the Michigan Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain Resort, as will several of the amateurs in this week’s championship.

  As for others who made the “Sweet 16,” stroke play medalist and top seed Veronica Haque of Rochester Hills moved on to the round of 16 with a 6 and 4 win over Annie Pietila of Brighton.

  Defending champion Anna Kramer of Spring Lake also advanced to the round of 16 with a 2 and 1 win over Anna Fay of Ada.

   Former Grand Valley State University standout Katie Chipman of Canton, who in 2017 lost in the Women’s Amateur finals to Aya Johnson at Saginaw CC, rolled into the round of 16 with a 6 and 5 win over Serena Nguyen of Macomb.

   The highest seed to get knocked out of the tournament in the round of 32 was University of Michigan golfer Anika Dy of Traverse City. She was topped by 30-seed Olivia Stoll of Haslett, the daughter of Michigan State University women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, 2 and 1.

   Lauren Timpf of Macomb Township who reached the round of 16 a year ago at age 13 and pushed Kramer to the final hole in a key match, is back in the round of 16 again. She beat Julia Dean of Brighton, a University of Arkansas golfer, 4 and 3.

  “My match was tough,” Timpf said. “I played a really great competitor who drives the ball a mile, but I feel like my putting today was really what helped me.”

   Timpf said she’s elated to move on to the round of 16.

  “It feels amazing to know that I’m able to hang with all these collegiate players and older girls,” she said.

The Sweet 16

UPPER BRACKET

Veronica Haque, 22, Rochester Hills – Golfer at Oakland University

Anna Kramer, 22, Spring Lake – Golfer at University of Indianapolis

Mikaela Schulz, 19, West Bloomfield – Golfer at University of Michigan

Katie Chipman, 23, Canton – Employee at Egypt Valley CC

Ariel Chang, 18, Macomb – Incoming golfer at University of Detroit Mercy

Lauren Timpf, 14, Macomb – Upcoming Sophomore at Lutheran High North

Kimberly Dinh, 28, Midland – Senior Research Specialist at DOW Chemical

Mary Janiga, 24, Midland – Assistant Golf Coach at Northwood University

LOWER BRACKET

Chaithra Katamaneni, 24, Saginaw – Medical Assistant at Saginaw Valley Medical Center

Abigail Livingston, 20, Novi – Golfer at Dixie State University

Adie Maki, 16, Canton – Upcoming Senior at Skyline High School

Olivia Reed, 21, Carleton – Golfer at Western Kentucky University

Shannon Kennedy, 18, Beverly Hills – Incoming golfer at Michigan State University

Natalie Samdal, 20, Caledonia – Golfer at Davenport University

Olivia Stoll, 17, Haslett – Incoming golfer at Grand Valley State University

Anci Dy, 18, Traverse City – Incoming golfer at University of Indianapolis

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