Grand Rapids native Jennifer Elsholz captures GAM Women’s Championship with birdie on 17th hole

By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

SPRING LAKE — University of Toledo golfer Jennifer Elsholz, of Grand Rapids, birdied the 17th hole during the final round and came with the victory in the 23rd Annual Golf Association of Michigan Women’s Championship event Tuesday.

Elsholz, 21, dropped a wedge shot from 88 yards out on the par 5, 17th green at Spring Lake Country Club and then sank the eight-foot putt for her winning margin.

Elzholz opened Monday with a three-under-par 69, but she had a scrambling start Tuesday. After taking bogeys on the first two holes following a one-hour weather-delay start to the round, she dropped back into a scramble for the rest of the day.

“I was fine at home, but it was really tougher thanMonday,” she said. “It was kind of like playing match play with Sarah Hoffman, and I didn’t want to. I knew the birdie on 17 put me one-up on Sarah and one-up on Hannah Pietila and Lindsey McPherson, too.”

Afterward she said, “I don’t remember the last thing I’ve won. I’ve been close a few times in college.”

A two-putt par 4 on the 18th hole closed out the last day of play and left Elsholz with her 144 total on rounds of 69 and 75.

Hoffman, a former Grand Valley State University player, Pietila and McPherson all finished with 145s and fell one stroke back. McPherson won the scorecard playoff and finished second with rounds 73 and 72.

Pietila came in third with rounds of 72 and 73 for her 145 while Hoffman had 70-75 for her 145.

North Muskegon’s Aya Johnson, now a University of Wisconsin golfer, rallied to finish fifth with a 148 on rounds of 73 and 75. Johnson played on a co-op team with Muskegon Catholic Central in high school.

Other notable finishes included an eighth-place showing by Jenny Sritragul, a member of the Michigan State University women’s golf team. She had rounds of 77 and 74 for a 151 after winning the 93rd running of the Spring Lake Women’s Invitational Tournament on the same course less than a month ago.

The MSU golf coach and a former winner of the GAM Women’s Championship, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, came in tied for 19th with rounds of 78 and 77 for 155.

Five other area players also completed the 36-hole, stroke play tournament. The list included three former Mona Shores players.  Hailey Hrynewich finished in a tie for 21st with a 79-78–157 total while Kelsey McKinley tied for 36th at 83-80–163 and Morgan Smith placed 42nd with 83-83–166.

Two Spring Lake Country Club golfers finished farther back. Kathy Eisenga came in tied for 59th with 89-88–177 while Virginia Olszewski had 94-91–185 for 65th place.

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