Whitaker wins tour championship

DOWAGIAC — Greta Whitaker is no stranger to playoff golf.

The Bethel University-bound freshman needed a playoff to become the first Dowagiac Union High School girl to qualify for the state finals last fall. She has had to survive several playoffs during the Lakeshore Junior Golf Association Tour to reach the championship round on Monday at Hawks Head in South Haven.

Whitaker needed a playoff to wrap up the Girls 16-18 Division championship Monday afternoon.

Whitaker took a 10-stroke lead into the final round of the two-day championship tournament, which started last week at Lake Michigan Hills.

Allegan’s Emma Franklin, who has competed regularly with Whitaker in the Wolverine Conference, came storming back to force a playoff on Monday.

Whitaker sank a long putt on the second hole of the playoff to claim the championship.

Franklin shot 85 at Hawks Head, while Whitaker finished regulation with a 96. St. Joseph’s Gracie Thomas, who entered the final day 10 strokes back, finished fifth. Maya Hunter, of St. Joseph, took third.

Dowagiac’s Calley Ruff finished with a 111 Monday afternoon.

Becca Guernsey, of Dowagiac, finished runner-up in the Girls 13-15 Division after finishing with a 115 on Monday. Of St. Joseph, Marley Waters shot 100 at Hawks head to win the title by 28 strokes. St. Joseph’s Regan Igoe was third.

In the Boys Junior Division, Alan Wegner, of Cassopolis, finished second behind Stevensville’s William Hundt. Hundt shot a 73 at Hawks Head, while Wegner shot 81. Conner Geigley, of Centreville, shot 88 to finish third overall.

The Collegiate Division championship went to Nick Brausch, of Paw Paw, who shot 81 on Monday. Jeremiah Guernsey, of Dowagiac, was the runner-up after shooting an 85. Stevensville’s Stuart Clark took third place.

Ryan Guzzo, of St. Joseph, won the Boys 16-18 title by a whopping 33 strokes over Landen Thompson, of Baroda. Nathan Marohn, of Stevensville, was third.

Of Stevensville, Jacob Marohn won the 13-15 Division championship by 28 strokes over Charlie Uzelac, of St. Joseph. St. Joseph’s Dylan Walters finished third.

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