Opportunities for actual competition are few and far between this summer, but golf remains one of the only sports in the country where social distancing isn’t a major obstacle. This past week, two Michigan women’s golfers seized the opportunity and competed in the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship at Forest Akers Golf Course. 

Sophomores Anika Dy and Mikaela Schulz competed in two rounds of stroke play before advancing in the top 32 to match play, where Dy advanced to the quarterfinals and Schulz was eliminated in the first round. 

Dy rode a strong putting ability and overall good striking to match play, shooting a 71 and 75 on the first two days. She was forced to change her approach for the match play to a more aggressive style, which carried her through the first two rounds. 

“I was pretty consistent through those two days (of stroke play),” Dy said. “Then match play hit and it’s like a totally different mindset and I’m definitely a stronger stroke play player. I was more comfortable the first two days, but match play was super fun. I’m just bummed that I couldn’t make it farther.”

Failing to recover from poor shots, coupled with shaky wedge and short game play, Dy lost in the third round of match play. She struggled right from the beginning of her final round, but was able to add some excitement going down the stretch on a run with some birdies. It wasn’t enough –– she ultimately lost the match with two holes to go. 

Despite being eliminated in the first round of match play, Schulz was pleased with her overall performance at the tournament, crediting her recent work on her mental game with a lot of her success. 

“I’m really working on just trusting my game and trust in my abilities,” Schulz said. “My game is more consistent than it has been in the past so I’m pretty proud of that. I think my game is really headed in a good direction right now.” 

Schulz’ mental strength was tested as soon as match play began, when she was down three with three holes to play. After not hitting a single fairway on the front nine, Schulz stepped up confidently to the tee on the 16th hole and hit a really tight fairway, setting up an excellent approach shot to help her extend the match. 

With both girls competing in less than half the tournaments of a normal summer, this one came with added pressure, but both managed to treat it like any normal tournament. 

“It just motivates me and drives me to keep working and keep going,” Schulz said. “It’s really why I play the game.” 

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