Private Team Claims 32nd Women’s Atlas Trophy Matches

Written By: Greg Johnson

AU GRES – Private team captain, Jean Murray, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, was checking the match results on her phone so often over the two days of play at the 32nd Atlas Trophy Matches that she had to start worrying about running out of battery power.

“It was pretty evenly matched, and I did keep looking and saying, ‘how many more (points),’” she said after her Private Team’s 13.5 -10.5 win over the Public Team Sunday at Huron Breeze Golf Club.

Many of the top women golfers in the state representing private golf clubs and public venues made up two teams and played a Ryder Cup-style competition.

“I think everyone played very, very well, but it was tight,” Murray said. “I think particularly on Saturday, those matches in the morning were so tight.”

Those morning foursomes matches proved especially important as the Private team pulled out close matches and built a 4.5-1.5 points advantage. In the afternoon four-ball matches, the Public team rallied and won 3.5 to 2.5 and the day closed with the Private team leading 7-5.

The 12 Sunday singles matches proved to be just as evenly matched. It took consecutive wins by the last three players in the Private team’s lineup to secure the win. Natalie Samdal beat Katherine Potter, 4 and 2, followed by Rachel Sampson beating Mackenzie Meekhoff, 2 and 1, and Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll topping Rachel Krieger, 3 and 1.

The Private Team ended with a 6.50-5.50 advantage in singles to secure the victory and take back the cup. The Public Team, winners a year ago, now trail in the series 17-12 with three ties.

In addition to the final three players winning matches for the Private team, others who scored important singles wins included Chelsea Collura, Donna Tepper and Lily Bargamian. Olivia Stoll earned a half point with a tie match against Kamryn Shannon.

Winners in singles for the Public team were Oliva Hemmila, Shelly Weiss, Copelin Okrangley, Alena Li and Amaya Melendez.

Representing the Private Team were Collura, Tepper, Elise Fennell, Isabella Gimenez de Garcia, Joan Garety, Lauren Davis, Bargamian, Macie Elzinga, Samdal, Sampson and the mother-daughter Stoll duo.  The Stoll family owns Huron Breeze, which was a GAM tournament host for the first time.

Players representing the public team, which was captained by Sue Campbell, included Li, Melendez, Okrangley, Shannon, Potter, Kelly Freeman, Lori Schlicher, Meekhof, Nateda Her, Olivia Hemmila, Krieger and Weiss.

The Women’s Atlas Trophy matches, named for the late Edward Atlas, a noted golf leader in Michigan, were first played in 1989 and have become a competition between women GAM members who are members of a private club, and GAM members who do not belong to a private club. The matches are unique in that teams are made up of golfers of all ages, including seniors and juniors.

The captains of both the “Public” and “Private” teams are selected by the GAM. The captains select 12 team members each, using GAM Honor Roll points and other criteria.