ROCHESTER — Kim Kester (Ada) had the low round with her 1-under-par 73 after the first day of stroke play at the GAM Michigan Women?s Amateur at Great Oaks Country Club July 14. Despite going in the water and doubling the par-3 16 and having a bogey on 18, she managed to end up atop the leader board.
?I thought my putting was really good today — I ended up with 27 — and that helped,? said Kester, who was 2 under par going into 16.
Kester, 25, said her goal is just to make the cut and get to match play — not necessarily to have the low round or finish as the stroke-play medalist.
?Today was a more conservative round than anything said Kester. ?I took a risk on 17 and went for it instead of laying up, but I ended up laying up anyway and I had a good shot to the green so it worked out.?
Kester chalked up her doubling of the par-3 16 to nothing more than a bad shot.
?I just hit the ball horrible,? she said. ?I hit about two inches behind the ball. I had the right club, but I just had a bad shot.?
On Sunday, while playing with her dad at Thousand Oaks, Kester had a hole-in-one which she hopes is a good omen for the week.
?He told me not to go for the pin and I went right for the pin,? said Kester. ?I took dead aim and went right at it.?
While she doesn?t expect to get an ace this week at Great Oaks, she found the greens to her liking and was satisfied with her first round.
?I?m happy with it,? said Kester. ?This course was up for grabs today. You can fire right at anything and get it to stay. The greens are really soft.?
Kester is a graduate of Forest Hills Northern and the University of Toledo. She is a two-time Grand Rapids City champion.
One of the youngest competitors, Gabrielle Yurik (Oakland Twp./Stony Creek High School) finished with a 75. This is her first time competing in the tournament and after day one, she was pleased with her play.
?It feels good to know that you can shoot as well as some of the better players in the competition,? said Yurik.
Although she spent some time on the putting green after her round, Yurik did not feel that she struggled with her short game.
?The greens were fast but I tend to like fast greens,? she said.
Yurik was named to the First All-State Golf Team in Division 1 this year and is a member of the National Honor Society.
The GAM Michigan Women?s Amateur features two days of stroke play and three days of match play.? After the stroke play rounds, the field of 66 will be cut to 32 for match play