Pietila Wins Michigan Women’s Amateur

EAST LANSING – Emmie Pietila (Brighton/University of Tennessee) is the 96th Michigan Women’s Amateur Champion after defeating Natalie Brehm (Mount Pleasant) 2&1 in the final match-play round at Forest Akers West.

Pietila, 18, has been playing in Golf Association of Michigan tournaments since she was 15 years old and almost did not register for this year’s Women’s Amateur because she was going to try and qualify for the Junior PGA Championship in Kentucky.

“This was closer and just easier logistically so that is why I ended up registering for this tournament versus the junior qualifier,” said Pietila. “I’m really glad I made that decision!”

The match was even though four holes before Pietila went 1 up after five.

“My driver was working really well for me and also, I’m always fighting my draw a little and today I was hitting straighter for some reason,” said Pietila.

Although a veteran of GAM tournaments, Pietila admitted she was nervous as she made her way around the links. She never really felt she had a comfortable lead and did not start thinking that she might win until she was standing on the 16th tee.

“I just kept talking to myself and trying to stay calm all through the match,” said Pietila. “Natalie was hitting it right at the pin all day and I was trying to be very aggressive too. That is just the way I play. I’m O.K. physically right now but mentally, I’m exhausted!”

In the morning semifinal matches, Brehm topped Jacqueline Setas (East Lansing/Lansing Catholic) 1 up and Pietila went to 19 holes to defeat Liz Nagel (DeWitt/Michigan State University). It was the first match to go extra holes in the tournament.

 

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