Written By: Greg Johnson
YPSILANTI – Canton’s Bridget Boczar saved par from a greenside bunker on the second hole of a three-way sudden-death playoff and won the 32nd GAM Women’s Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Washtenaw Golf Club Tuesday.
“It wasn’t too difficult of a bunker shot and I’ve been there before,” said the Oakland University golfer who is familiar with Washtenaw as a playing and practice site. “So I just put a good swing on it and it ended up right next to the hole.”
Anci Dy of Traverse City bogeyed No.1, the first hole of the playoff with a three-putt while Boczar and Kate Brody of Grand Blanc made par.
Brody three-putted 18, the second playoff hole, from about 30 feet, missing a three-footer that lipped out of the cup, and Boczar closed it out by knocking in her two-foot par putt that had resulted from the bunker shot.
“I’m very pleased, it means a lot,” she said. “I never really won anything this big before so I think it goes to show that what I’m doing is working and how I’m practicing is really helping me in my game. I’m excited. I’m really pleased.”
Boczar shot a second consecutive 1-over 73 in regulation play for 146, while Brody fashioned a 70, the lowest round of the day, to land at 146, and Dy, a University of Indianapolis golfer, shot 72 for 146.
The playoff trio finished three shots clear of the field with Oakland University golfer Nateda Her of Lansing, who shot 72 for 149, and Emilie Alba Paltrinieri of Ann Arbor, a University of Michigan golfer who shot 74 for 149.
Boczar, who led after the first round and led or was tied for the lead throughout the final round, had a one-shot lead on Dy and two on Brody when she came to hole 17 in regulation. She just missed the fairway left and her approach shot from the rough sailed over the green.
“Then I had just a really hard chip from the back of the green and I left it short and had to chip again,” she said. “That was my big fumble of the day. I kind of thought I was out of it at that point. I didn’t expect (Dy) to three-putt. Then by the time we finished 17 I realized we were tied. I was still in it.”
Brody, who is headed to the University of Wisconsin on a golf scholarship after playing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, said she was a little surprised to end up in the playoff.
“I knew there was a chance because 17, the green is so tough, and 18, just everything about 18 is hard,” she said. “Then in the playoff I don’t feel like I hit a bad putt. It just lipped out and that’s golf. I had a real solid round today. I think it was my first bogey-free round in a GAM tournament, and I know I left a few shots out there.”
Dy, last summer’s Michigan Women’s Amateur Champion who is also headed to the U.S. Women’s Amateur, said she did not feel good with her putter all day.
“I was trying to keep it steady, but I missed a lot of putts inside six feet,” she said. “It comes and it goes and that green at 17 (in regulation) just got me. I was above the hole. Then I hit my drive in the (fairway) bunker in the playoff. That made it tough and I couldn’t make par.”
Boczar, a runner-up in the championship last year, said she didn’t focus on winning this year. She stayed true to her process.
“I just focus on shooting good scores and look at specific aspects of my game, like greens in regulation, how my putting is,” she said. “I focus on the smaller details instead of overall winning because there’s so much that goes into winning that people don’t see.”