Midland's Kimberly Dinh, 28, takes Michigan Women's Amateur in thriller
Kimberly Dinh, a senior research specialist at Dow Chemical in Midland, found the right equation on the golf course in this week's 105th Michigan Women's Amateur Championship.
A former golfer at the University of Wisconsin, Dinh, a Midland native, made birdie at the 16th hole Friday at Saginaw Country Club to square the match, then won it with a par on the 18th.
Dinh, 28, defeated Michigan junior-to-be Mikaela Schulz, 19, of West Bloomfield in the all-Big Ten final.
Neither player had bigger than a 1-up lead the entire match, which was all square at the turn.
"This was always one of my goals and I never quite got it done when I was in high school and college and playing all the time," Dinh, who win the 2020 Michigan Women's Mid-Amateur, told reporters Friday.
"I didn’t think I would play in it after that just because of everything else, but here I am and it’s amazing.”
Dinh fell behind one hole on the 12th hole, then again on the 14th, before she hit a wedge to 4 feet to win the 16th hole with a birdie and even things up again. The two matched pars at the par-5 17th, and then Dinh made par on the par-4 18th to Schulz's bogey to win it.
Dinh, the No. 6 seed entering the match-play portion of the tournament, won her Friday morning semifinal, 3-and-1, over Macomb Township's Ariel Chang, who won the 2020 Michigan Girls Junior Amateur championship and will play collegiately at Detroit Mercy.
Schulz, the No. 4 seed, won her semifinal 1-up over Spring Lake's Anna Kramer, who plays at the University of Indianapolis and entered the tournament as the defending champion.
"I felt intensity and pressure in every match for sure, and it was a string of great matches, great competition,” Schulz told reporters in Saginaw. “It was an honor to be competing in this championship.
"Kimberly was right there though. She played great.”
The 110th Michigan Amateur is set for next week, Tuesday through Saturday, at Cascade Hills Country Club. Ann Arbor's Tyler Copp, who just completed his collegiate career at Mercer, is the defending champion and plans to turn professional after attempting to defend his championship.