Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship Rounds Four and Five

Michigan State's Shannon Kennedy is a semifinalist in the tournament held at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield

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Plum Hollow Country Club, Southfield, MI — June 13, 2024

Another day, more rounds of match play golf from the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship at Plum Hollow Golf Club. Michigan State’s Shannon Kennedy, one of the young ladies we have followed this week, had an outstanding day.

Shannon prepares to mark her ball after a lag to the cup left her a short putt to complete a hole during play this week at Plum Hollow CC / Lasco Press Photo

Match play began Wednesday with 32 women playing 18 holes head to head. The intensity level picked up today as the 16 survivors played 18 holes this morning to cut the field to 8. Then hit the course in the afternoon for 18 more, leaving the 4 semifinalists to play tomorrow morning. The Championship match will then be contested on Friday afternoon.

We say 18 holes, but in match play, you only continue until the number of holes won by a golfer exceeds the number of holes left to play. Shannon faced Traverse City’s 17-year-old Grace Slocum from St Francis High School. Their match lasted only 12 holes as Shannon posted the largest match play margin of victory in the tournament to date, 7 and 6.

After they halved (tied) the first hole, Shannon won the second, Grace won the third. Shannon ran off a string of 6 hole wins to close out the front nine at 6-up. Another hole win on the 11th, she closed out the match by halving the 12th.

That early release from the course allowed Shannon some time to rest before her afternoon match with Megha Vallabhaneni. Magha, who plays on the Western Michigan Golf Team, advanced to the quarterfinals with match wins over Grace Boczar (2-up) and Anci Dy (6 and 4).

After battling up and down through 15 holes, Shannon was 1-up. Wins on the 16th and 17th sent her to the semifinals with a 3-up victory.

Friday, Shannon will face Macie Elzinga, the Byron City teen who has recently signed a “Letter of Intent” to play for Bowling Green State University in 2025.

The other semifinal features Eastern Michigan student Amaya Melendez against Elise Fennell, the 2023 Michigan High School Division 1 Golf Champion. Yesterday, we told you about the “sorority” of Michigan’s top college-age female golfers who compete against each other during summers in the State. To earn her spot in the semifinal round, Elise defeated Amaya’s sister Mia, 3 and 2, in a match that recorded 11 hole wins of the 16 the pair played.

How much drama will Friday’s matches provide? Keep following The Lasco Press, and we will tell you.

Plum Hollow Country Club

All week we have told you about the course the women are playing this week, Plum Hollow Country Club. We have used so many superlatives to describe it all we can do is show you some pictures.

Our favorite, the par-4, 13th hole, is a classic risk/reward decision for players. From the tee, you can choose between two fairways. The left side (opposite in the picture) is safer. The right side provides a better approach from a shorter distance, but you must fly a creek intersecting the landing zones. Depending on pin placement, the elevated green dares you to fly it at the flag. However, there is trouble surrounding the entire putting surface.

The 12th green looking back towards the tee with the split fairway / Lasco Press Photo

The par-3, 5th hole travels along Lasher Road that borders the East side of the course. Players must hit from tiered tees to another elevated green. All while blocking out the background noise from a busy thoroughfare in Southfield.

 

A dip into “the hollow” threatens golfers who do not execute the tee to green shot on the par-3, 5th hole / Lasco Press Photo

The moderate distance of the par-3, 14th hole might give you a sense of relief after the split-fairway challenge of the 13th. But you can’t relax too much, or it will bite you. The green is relatively small and kidney-shaped. A bunker guards the left front. The tee is almost on the same level as the green, which falls away on the front, left, and back. The hill on the right is steep and a tool players can use (depending on the length of the rough). A shot that drifts off to the right will often bounce down the hill and onto the putting surface.

The short but scary par-3, 14th hole at Plum Hollow / Lasco Press Photo

 

Check out more views of Plum Hollow with the elevated photos on their website.

Tomorrow

We will wrap up our week-long coverage of the Golf Association of Michigan‘s premier women’s event with semi-final and final match scores. In addition, we will share the history of Plum Hollow Country Club and an interesting story of how the club acquired its current design.