It's Kimberly Dihn's time at Michigan Women's Amateur
Photo: Golf Association of Michigan
Photo: Golf Association of Michigan

After making it to the semifinal match of last year Michigan Women’s Amateur, Kimberly Dinh (Midland, Mich.) took things a step further on Friday by winning the 105th edition of the championship held at Saginaw Country Club. The former Wisconsin Badger won a tense match against Michigan junior Mikaela Schulz (West Bloomfield, Mich.), 1 up to claim the championship.

Dinh, who lost in the 2020 semi-final round to eventual champion Anna Kramer (Spring Lake, Mich.), 4&3, was the No. 6 overall seed in the match play rounds, following two rounds of stroke play. None of her first three matches had gone past the 16th hole, as she cruised to a 3&2 win over No. 27 Kay Zubkus (Ada, Mich.) in the Round of 32, a 4&2 win over No. 22 Anci Dy (Traverse City, Mich.) (in the Round of 16, and a convincing 6&4 victory over No. 30 Olivia Stoll (Haslett, Mich.) in the quarterfinals.

Facing No. 2 overall seed Ariel Chang (Macomb Twp., Mich.) in the semifinal match, Dinh, the oldest player in the championship, started neck and neck with the 2020 Michigan Junior Girl’s Amateur Champion, with identical scorecards through the first four holes. Dinh would go on to win three of the next four holes, making the turn with a two-hole lead. She then captured holes 10 and 12, going 4 up with six holes to play. While Chang, who will play her collegiate golf at Detroit-Mercy, was able to cut the deficit to a 2-hole margin with two to play, Dinh won the 17th hole to win the match 3&1, advancing to the final match.

On the other side of the bracket, the No. 4 seeded Schulz overcame an early two-hole deficit to defeat No. 8 Kramer, who was looking to repeat as Women’s Amateur Champion. Down two after six holes, the Wolverine junior battled back to even the match through nine holes. Schulz won the 13th hole to claim her first lead of the round -- one that she wouldn’t relinquish, eventually winning her semi-final match 1 up.

In the final match, Dinh won the third hole to go up by one. Schulz squared the match on the ninth hole, and would gain a one-hole lead of her own on the 11th and maintained a 1-up lead through 14 holes. The match, never separated by more than a one-hole margin for its entirety, would become all square heading into 17 when Dinh birdied the par-4 16th hole. With both golfers carding bogeys on the 17th hole, it was a par on the final hole by Dinh that earned her the victory.

The Michigan Women’s Amateur title was the second Golf Association of Michigan title for Dinh, who holds a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and is a senior research specialist for Dow Chemical. She also won the 2020 Michigan Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

Medalist honors were earned by Rochester Hills' Veronica Haque, who plays her collegiate golf at Oakland University. Her 73-70—143 (+1) gave her the No. 1 seed in match play by one stroke over Chang, and two strokes clear of the duo of Anika Dy (Traverse City, Mich.) and Schulz, who finished tied in third place.

“It shows how all my hard work over the years is paying off,” Haque told the Oakland Press. “I’ve been close so many times and it has been a little heartbreaking, but it has also been my biggest motivation to keep working hard.”

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ABOUT THE Michigan Women's Amateur

The Michigan Women's State Amateur is Michigan's most prestigious women's amateur championship, having been played over 100 times. The format is 36- hole stroke play (Gross only), from which the low 32 advance to match play. Open to women amateurs with handicaps under 15.4. Must be a GAM member.

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