Mikaela Schulz Holds On, Wins 30th GAM Women’s Championship

  STURGIS – University of Michigan golfer Mikaela Schulz of West Bloomfield held on for a wire-to-wire win in the 30th GAM Women’s Championship Tuesday at Klinger Lake Country Club.

  Schulz, who will be a junior in the fall at Michigan, shot a final-round 74 to go with a first-round 69 for a winning total of 1-under 143, just one shot ahead of Northern Illinois University golfer Jasmine Ly of Madison Heights, who rallied with a 70.

  “It feels great and it means a ton to me,” Schulz said. “I always look forward to GAM tournaments and it’s just such an honor to win again.

   Grand Valley State University golfer Katie Chipman of Canton, who shot 72, and East Lansing’s Rachel Sampson, a former Michigan State University golfer, who shot 69, the low round of the day, tied for third at 146.

  Natalie Samdal of Caledonia, a Davenport University golfer shot 72, and Lilia Henkel, who is headed to the University of Delaware in the fall, shot 75. They tied for fifth at 148.

    Schulz, a two-time GAM Junior Girls’ Player of the Year and the runner-up earlier this summer in the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship to Kimberly Dinh of Midland, said she struggled with her ball striking in the second round.

  “I felt like I was still able to trust my game, which was good, but I definitely wasn’t hitting it well, especially off the tee,” she said. “Overall though I played pretty solid for how I was hitting the ball.”

  Schulz birdied the 14th hole to add to her lead, but then made consecutive bogeys at 15 and 16 before closing with two pars. She said she maintained her mindset for the week of just trying to play her game and ignoring what others were doing.

  “Just trying to play the best that I can play really takes pressure off myself,” she said. “It allows me to play better and I can see that worked pretty well this week.”

  Ly, who has qualified for the upcoming U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, birdied the final hole to pull within one shot and forced Schulz in the group behind to make a par at 18 to secure the win. She said the two-day tournament meant she was attacking from the start.

  “This course is gettable if you’re in the fairway off the tee,” she said. “I played pretty solid, made more putts today. This was a good tune up for the Amateur.  I’m excited about going out there (U.S. Women’s Amateur at Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.). We’re leaving on Friday.”

  Schulz said winning the GAM Championship did feel like redemption for finishing second in the Women’s Amateur.

  “This is the last event I’m playing this summer so it’s pretty special to win,” she said. “I know I’m capable of shooting low, but I haven’t shot that low in a while, so it was really cool and special to shoot the 69 yesterday. That was the highlight of this tournament.”

  Schulz had caddie Sean Ladouce of Saginaw helping her once again. He was recommended to her at the Women’s Amateur and she said he helped once again.

  “Very thankful to have him on my bag, we’ve been working really well together,” she said. “It’s also nice to have a caddie on this course because it’s pretty hilly.”

  She handed out plaudits to Klinger Lake CC, too.

  “It’s the kind of course I really like, kind of small greens and kind of placement course,” she said. “It was a fun course to play and it was in great condition.”

  Klinger Lake CC hosted a GAM tournament for the first time. Located between White Pigeon and Sturgis on U.S. 12 near the Michigan-Indiana border, it’s a private facility.