Women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll leads a large of contingent of players with MSU ties in next week's Michigan PGA Women's Open. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)
xcyhNo matter the outcome this week, the 21st Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship will have a first-time winner.
For the first time since 1995, none of the former champions will be in the field, including Inhong Lim, last year’s winner and a Symetra Tour player.
One fact remains constant. Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville will again be the site. The 54-hole, $36,000 event, which begins Monday, will be held on the challenging and picturesque Mountain Ridge Course.
A field of 69 features golfers from 19 states and five countries, including China and the United Kingdom. There are 32 golfers from Michigan.
Two players who played in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open will be making the trip up from Pinehurst, N.C. They are Hannah Pietila of Brighton and Xyra Suyetsuga of Fountain Hills, Ariz. Pietila’s sister Emmie also is playing in the Michigan Open. Both U.S. Open qualifiers missed the cut. Hannah Pietila shot 164 (81-83) and Suyetsuga shot 171 (88-83).
Last year’s low amateur, Kimberly Dinh of Midland, a University of Wisconsin golfer, also is in the Michigan PGA Women’s Open field.
Michigan State will be well represented, per usual. Topping the list of Spartans are women’s coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll and former LPGA Tour player Sue Ertl, a Grand Rapids native and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member.
Current MSU players in the field include Lindsey McPherson, Trish Witherby, Mariah Massa and Gabby Yurik are playing. Yurik is from Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and in in 2011 she was named Miss Golf.
Liz Nagel (DeWitt) and Allyssa Ferrell, two Spartans who just turned professional, will be making their professional debuts in the event.