Aya Johnson leads area golfers in sixth place after first round of the GAM Women’s championship

Local Sports Journal

SPRING LAKE — College golfers set the first-round pace Monday in the opening round of the Golf Association of Michigan Women’s Championship at Spring Lake Country Club.

Jennifer Elsholz, of the University of Toledo and former Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern player, had the lead with a three-under-par 69 on the SLCC course. She had nine-hole scores of 35 and 34.

Sarah Hoffman, a former Grand Valley State University golfer from Saline, trailed by one stroke with a two-under-par 70 going into Tuesday’s final round of the 36-hole tournament. Hoffman carded nines of 37 and 33.

Included in a two-way tie for sixth place at one-over-par 73 was former Muskegon Catholic Central golfer Aya Johnson, of North Muskegon. She now plays for the University of Wisconsin women’s team. Johnson had nines of 36 and 37.

A three-way tie for third place featured GVSU golfer Kelly Hartigan, of Lake Orion; Emily White, of Saline; and Hannah Pietila, of Brighton. All three had even-par rounds of 72.

The Tuesday final round pairings in the stroke play tournament have Pietila, White and Johnson teeing off at 10:09 a.m. The Elsholz, Hoffman and Hartigan group will follow at 10:18 a.m. on the SLCC course.

Scores for other area players had former Mona Shores High School golfers Hailey Hrynewich tied for 24th with a 79; and Kelsey Mckinley and Morgan Smith tied with one other player for 44th with 83s.Tuesday’s pairings have McKinley starting at 8:39 a.m., Smith at 8:48 a.m., and Hrynewich at 9:15 a.m.

Two players with SLCC ties finished the opening round farther back. Kathy Eisenga is tied for 60th with an 89 while Virginia Olszewski finished 69th with a 94.

Jenny Sritragul, a Michigan State University golfer who recently won the 93rd running of the Spring Lake Women’s Invitational Golf Tournament, finished in a tie for 16th place with nines of 38 and 39 for a 77 total.

MSU women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll is tied for 18th after carding nines of 41 and 37 for a 78. Slobodnik-Stoll won the GAM Women’s Championship in 1998.

Spring Lake is hosting the tournament for the first time in the 23-year history of the GAM.

Defending tournament champion Shannon Warner, of Gull Lake Country Club, is not entered in this year’s tournament.

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