EAST LANSING – PJ Maybank III of Cheboygan and Anci Dy of Traverse City played their best golf of the day on the back nine at Forest Akers West Golf Course and won the boy’s and girl’s overall titles in the 8th GAM Junior Invitational Sunday.
Maybank, 15 and the Michigan Junior State Amateur Champion as well as GAM Junior Kickoff Champion earlier this summer, shot 2-under on the back nine in shooting a closing 1-under 71 for a 3-under 141 tournament total and the win by two shots.
Dy, 17, won her first tournament of the summer in the last GAM junior tournament of the summer by also shooting 2-under on the back nine in a final 71 for a 4-over 148 total and the win by two shots.
Champions were also determined in 15-and-under age group divisions.
Will Preston of Grand Rapids, who shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday, closed with a 77 for 143. The GAM 14-and-under Match Play Champion from earlier this summer won by three shots.
Laura Liu of Rochester Hills won her first GAM title shooting a final 71 for 148 and won by three shots.
She also put an end to the streak of Macomb’s Lauren Timpf who had won five consecutive GAM tournaments in the 15-and-under age group division dating back to this tournament a year ago. Timpf tied for second with Mia Melendez of Ann Arbor this time with a 75 for 151. Melendez shot 77 to close.
Maybank, who attends school on-line and spends much of the winter in Florida, double-bogeyed the No. 8 hole and played to bogey on No. 9 to lose a multiple-shot lead, but then birdied No. 13 from the trees after a wayward drive.
“I made a great birdie where I probably shouldn’t have made birdie, but I hit a great shot out of the woods and made the six-foot putt for birdie,” he said. “That gave me a lot of momentum and I played solid on the back nine the rest of the way.”
Maybank won the three junior GAM events he played in this year.
“I’ve had a great, great summer so I’m very pleased,” he said. “I was way more consistent this summer, the most consistent I’ve ever been for an entire season and it definitely helped. This was definitely a good way to end the summer for sure.”
The Forest Akers West course has given Maybank fits in the past, but he said he took a more conservative approach this time.
“I definitely didn’t hit as many drivers and used a lot more irons off the tees,” he said. “I hit it far enough with irons that I still had wedges into a lot of the greens. I’ve matured a little bit. I had a better plan for this one.”
Evan McDermott of Spring Lake shot a final 69 for 143 and tied for second behind Maybank with defending champion Justin Sui, who shot a final 74.
Dy, a standout player at Traverse City West High School, said it has been a while since she felt good about her golf game.
“I didn’t play my best, but I hung in there really well,” she said. “I haven’t walked off with the championship trophy in a long time so it was really nice to be back in the winner’s circle.”
Dy said she has been struggling with various parts of her game.
“It’s like one day it’s the short game, and the next it’s not being able to get off the tee,” she said. “This tournament was still a little struggle off the tee, but I managed to just reel it in enough with the other parts of my game.”
Dy, who has committed to the University of Indianapolis golf program, said the front nine was an uphill battle.
“So on the back I just wanted to play it stronger than I did (in the first round) and I hit a lot of good wedges pretty close, so that was really helpful,” she said. “I started the back nine with a birdie on No. 10 and my putting was really solid through this weekend and that really helped.”
She said a birdie on 17 was key, though she was not scoreboard watching and didn’t know at the time that she had the lead.
“I cut a 60-degree shot in there about 45 yards and hit it to one foot,” she said. “It’s always nice to tap-in.”
Shannon Kennedy of Beverly Hills shot 76 for 150 and second behind Dy. Kate Brody of Grand Blanc was third with a 79 for 151. Defending champion Sophie Stevens of Highland shot 76 for 156 and tie for eighth place.
In the 15-and-under boys Vibhav Alokam of Ypsilanti shot a second consecutive 73 for 146 and second place. Robert Burns of Grand Blanc, the 15-and-under winner at the Michigan Junior State Amateur, was third with a 74 for 147.
The field of 102 golfers were invited by the GAM based on performances in a variety of state and national competitions in 2020.