GAM

GOLF ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

Baron Vollmer, Kelsey Preston Win 6th GAM 14 & Under Match Play Titles

EAST LANSING – Baron Vollmer of Williamsburg and Kelsey Preston of Grand Rapids each cited consistency as the key element after they emerged as champions in the 6th GAM 14 & Under Match Play Championship Tuesday at Woodside Golf Course.

  “I was consistent and I kept my head straight, and once I made a bogey I was able to bring it back and that was key because I was taking on some tough competition,” said Vollmer after he topped Cooper Reitsma of Ada in 10 holes (9-hole matches) in the boys’ championship flight final.

  “Normally I’m not that consistent but I was able to get in on the green in two and make pars,” said Preston after she beat Avery Manning of Dexter 5 and 3 in the girls’ championship flight final. “I surprised myself but starting this year I’ve practiced more and got more into golf.”

  In the consolation match of the championship flight for the boys, Sumner Meekhof of Eastmanville, who had a hole-in-one earlier in the day during a semifinal loss to Reitsma, topped Luke Jackson of Byron Center 1-up.

  The consolation match winner among the girls was Saisha Patil of Okemos, who beat Anika Srivastava of Okemos 2-up.

  Champions and consolation winners were also determined in other flights as all golfers played two matches on the final day. Find the results at GAM.org.

  Vollmer, who is 14 and will be a freshman at Traverse City Central in the fall, hit his tee shot on the No. 10 hole in sudden death of the final into the long grass left of the fairway. He was able to punch the ball out and up the fairway, and then hit a wedge to inside five feet and made the putt to save par.

  Reitsma, who just last week lost in the final match of the Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship’s 15-and-under division to Leandro Pinili of Rochester Hills, just missed the green right and played to bogey.

   “This is a big deal, I mean it’s my first GAM win, so that’s awesome,” Vollmer said. “My workouts and all I’ve been doing in general on the golf course is paying off. I was kind of the underdog there. Cooper is a great player, and I did feel pressure. I thought I had thrown it away when I hit (the tee shot on No. 10) in the fescue, but I was able to get it out of there and hit a good shot on to the green to give me a chance at par.”

  Vollmer said he surprised himself some, but he knew he could do it.

  “I had one coming and I still have more to do,” he said.

  Preston, who is 14 and will be a freshman at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, is the second member of the family to claim a 14-and-under title. Her brother Will Preston won the boys’ title two years ago.

  Preston pulled it off coming from the eighth spot in the eight-player match play championship bracket.

  “I had to play Lillian O’Grady (stroke play medalist from Grand Rapids) in the first match and she is a really good player,” she said. “Once I beat her it made me confident I could win more matches. Then I just stayed consistent in my matches. I made pars in the last match and Avery made some bogeys.”

   Meekhof’s hole-in-one in the morning semifinals came on No. 4. He hit a 6-iron shot 147 yards into the hole. It was his first.

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