Nagel Wins Medalist Honors at 94th Michigan Women’s Amateur

ST. CLAIR — Liz Nagel (DeWitt/Michigan State University) had one goal when she teed off for the second day of stroke play Tuesday in the 94th Michigan Women’s Amateur at St. Clair Country Club; no three putts.
She achieved her goal and earned stroke-play medalist honors after shooting  a 5-under-par 70-69-139. Match play begins Wednesday with the 32 players shooting the lowest rounds in stroke play making up the field.
“This is the first time all year that I have not had any three putts,” said Nagel. “It was just a lot of fun out there today. It was no pressure.”
Nagel’s great run started on the par-4 4th hole. She putted for par after logging two bogeys on the previous two holes. That par kick-started her game and she birdied the next two holes to put her at three under par.
“It was just such a great atmosphere out there today,” said Nagel. “It was very laid back and everyone is so friendly. There are a lot of players from my team at MSU who made match play too so its going to be Spartan match play!”
Nagel advanced to the “elite 8” in match play at the Michigan Women’s Amateur in 2008. She was a MSHAA state champion for Division 2 in 2007 and runner-up in 2009.
Last year’s championship finals match play opponents Britney Hamilton (Lake Orion/Western Michigan University) and Natalie Brehm (Mount Pleasant/Michigan State University) tied for second place. Each had a two-day total of 142. Hamilton had her low round the first day (68-74-142) while Brehm came back stronger on day two (74-68-142).
Much like Nagel, Brehm said putting made all the difference for her in the second day of stroke play.
“I only had 26 putts today which was pretty good,” said Brehm. “I was just making the putts for some reason which hasn’t been happening for the past couple of weeks.”
Her most memorable putt came on the par-5 16th hole when she sunk a 15-foot putt for birdie. She hopes to keep that momentum going on the greens when match play begins on Wednesday.
“I used to not like match play at all because the first time I made it to match play in the Women’s Am I lost in the first round,” said Brehm, who has been playing in the tournament since she was 16 years old. “But now I like it. I made it to the final last year against Britney and that was a lot of fun.”
Hamilton too looks forward to match play. She admits she is a player who likes to take risks and match play allows her to do more of that.
“I’m that type of player that especially if someone tells me not to do something, I’m going to try it,” said Hamilton. “If you lose a hole it doesn’t affect you in the same way it does in stroke play. It’s just a lot of fun.”
There was a seven-way playoff for the final three match play spots between players who finished with a two-day total of 160. Kelly Hartigan (Clinton Twp.), Leah Grawburg (Mount Pleasant) and Sarah Hoffman (Saline) birdied the playoff hole to win those spots in the match play bracket.
Match play pairings are available on the GAM web site.