Big Rapids – Powered by a 6-3 advantage in the singles round of matches at Katke Golf Course Sunday, the Public Team held off the Private Team 13-10 to win the Women’s Atlas Trophy Matches for the first time in 3 years.
The teams were even at the start of Sunday’s singles play, but the Public team started off strong and claimed 4.5 out of the first five points to take the lead. Helping lead the way with early wins was Alissa Fish of Clark Lake and Cascades GC and Grace Wang of Rochester Hills and Youth on Course.
The Public team held off a later charge by the Private club team and wrapped up the 31st edition of the Ryder Cup-style competition that features the top women golfers in the state representing private golf clubs and public venues.
Winners for the Public team on the day included Olivia Hemmila of Sanctuary Lake GC, Amaya Melendez of University of Michigan GC, Alissa Fish of Cascades GC, Grace Wang of Youth on Course, Laura Bavaird of GAM OC, and Shelly Weiss of MWGA and Women’s Metropolitan Association. Laura Liu of Sanctuary Lake and Lauren Timpf of Youth on Course earned half points.
Points for the Private Club team came from Kimberly Dinh of Midland winning 6 & 5 in her match with Megha Vallabhaneni of Northville, Donna Tepper of Grosse Pointe Park added a full point with her 3 & 2 win over Kathy Stellema of Superior Twp. and Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor won 7 & 6 in her match over Sue Campbell of Kalamazoo.
The teams were tied 3-3 after foursomes matches Saturday morning, and again 3-3 in the afternoon four-ball for the 6-6 score heading into singles play.
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 Private team still leads the series 16-12 with three ties.
IN THE PHOTO: The winning Public Team: Lauren Timpf, Grace Wang, Alissa Fish, Megha Vallabhaneni, Olivia Hemmila, Laura Liu, Amaya Melendez, Laura Bavaird, Captain Cynthia Pinkard, Susan Campbell, Kathy Stellema. Not Pictured: Shelly Weiss.