Riverview’s Chelsea Collura Claims GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur

AUGUSTA, Mich. – With what Chelsea Collura described as solid work she won the 24th GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship Wednesday at Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort’s Stoatin Brae course.

Collura, 28 and the owner of Nuggett Leasing in Flat Rock, shot a final-round even-par 71 for a 3-over 145, topping Laura Bavaird of Trenton, a reinstated amateur and the director of the GAM Foundation, who rallied with a 2-under 69 for 147.

Lori Schlicher of Lewiston shot a second consecutive 74 for 148 and defending champion and 11-time winner Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, the Michigan State University women’s coach, shot a 72 for 149.

“I know my game is there, so it was all about just staying grounded and staying calm, trying to hit good shots and see what was going to happen,” said Collura, who won the Jeanne L. Myers Trophy for the first time and was the GAM Tournament of Champions winner at the close of last season.

“I didn’t have high or low expectations, but I know I can win. I was just trying to manage it and I did that, and it feels really good.”

Julie Massa of Holt was the Senior Division winner for the second consecutive year. The 2013 Mid-Amateur winner shot a final 74 for 145, six better than runner-up Shelly Weiss of Southfield, who shot a final 77.

In the additional age 19-24 Division, Kyleigh Dull, an Eastern Michigan University golfer from Fremont, Ohio, shot 73 for 144, one better than Saginaw Valley State University golfer Mandy Ehrlich of Grand Rapids, who shot 71 to close.

Collura was tied for the Mid-Am lead with Schlicher after Tuesday’s first round and got off to a tough start on Wednesday.

“It’s kind of surreal that it worked out because I had quite a battle with a double bogey early, on 3,” she said. “I bounced back right away though with birdies on 4 and 5 and then I relied on my short game. I had a couple of really good up-and-downs on 13 and 15 and I birdied 14 in between those two.

A lot of pins were tucked today, so coming down some of those big hills you had to be careful where you were hitting it. I worked my way around really well after the double.”

Massa, 58 and a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, built her lead in the Senior Division in the wind on Tuesday with an even-par 71.

“It was a challenge in the wind, and I don’t know if that helped me focus or what, but I hit some good shots yesterday,” she said. “Today, I had a couple of three-putts, but I started solid and was really pretty consistent. I did hit a bunch of greens today, more than yesterday, and I was able to stay in the lead.”

Dull entered the tournament at the urging of her EMU coach, Stephanie Jennings, and was happy she made the three-hour trip from Ohio.

“During the school year I feel like I played really well all year and I came to close to winning a couple of times, but I never did,” she said. “I had a lot of top 10 and top fives so it was nice to be able to win.”

Greg Johnson, 616-560-8995, [email protected]