Catholic League girls golf championship trophy goes south of the border

St. Ursula Academy became the first of the five schools from Toledo who joined the CHSL this year to win a league championship, winning the 2023 Bishop Division Girls Golf title by nine strokes over defending champ, Mercy. Making up the Arrows roster were Kennedy Donnelly, head coach Jim McGowan, Sophia Antypas (with plaque), Emma Myers – medalist with a 69 – Sydney Socha, and Lindsey Kornowa. (Photos by Don Horkey | Special to Detroit Catholic)

DETROIT — It took the Toledo St. Ursula Academy’s girls golf team about an hour and a half to journey north over the Michigan state line to the Detroit Golf Club for the Catholic High School League Bishop Division championship Sept. 26.

Some seven hours later, they made a return trip home south of the border with a prized possession, the winner’s plaque, and became the first of the five Toledo schools who joined the CHSL this year to win a league championship.

“We were in a league that was pretty strong (in Ohio),” said Jim McGowan, coach for 24 years at St. Ursula, “but then it dissolved. But I’m glad we (moved to the CHSL). It’s a strong conference. We’ve always had a pretty nice golf program. For girls who want to play golf they should try Ursula if they can.”

The Arrows edged the defending league champs and state Division 3 champs, Farmington Hills Mercy, 302-311, led by junior Emmy Myers’ medalist score of even-par 69. Sydney Socha’s 74, Sophia Antypas’ 75, Kennedy Donnelly’s 84, and Lindsey Kornowa’s 89 rounded out St. Ursula’s total.

“The 311 was a school record,” Mercy coach Vicki Kowalski said. “Two weeks ago we beat Ursula in a dual meet by 11 strokes.” The teams finished tied for first in the Central Division with 4-1 records.

Led by junior Mia Melendez’s 4-under 65, Ann Arbor Greenhills won the CHSL Cardinal Division title, 328-340, over the defending division champion, Wixom St. Catherine of Siena. Greenhills also won in 2018.

Following Melendez’s lead were Hannah Lee 81, Bella Young 86, Kayla Young 97 and Elisha Park 99.

Mia Melendez holds the plaque proclaiming Ann Arbor Greenhills as CHSL 2023 Cardinal Division girls golf champs. Melendez won medalist honors with a 4-under 65 on the Detroit Golf Club South Course. Elisha Park and Hannah Lee on Melendez’s left and Bella Young and Kayla Young on her right round out the Gryphons team coached by Michael Karr.
Mia Melendez holds the plaque proclaiming Ann Arbor Greenhills as CHSL 2023 Cardinal Division girls golf champs. Melendez won medalist honors with a 4-under 65 on the Detroit Golf Club South Course. Elisha Park and Hannah Lee on Melendez’s left and Bella Young and Kayla Young on her right round out the Gryphons team coached by Michael Karr.

“Mia is exceptional,” coach Michael Karr said. “She’s not big in stature. She’s worked with top swing coaches and uses all rotational forces and ground forces and everything else that comes into play. She has a great mental game, never gets frazzled.”

As for his contribution to her game, Karr laughed. “I stay out of her way.”

Melendez, 16, has won the individual honors in state Division 4 finals as a freshman and a sophomore. “I’m going for three in a row this year,” she said.

Senior Lauren Timpf of Macomb Lutheran North has been one of the top prep golfers in the state since she burst onto the scene when she was 14, voluntarily moved up to the 16-18 age group for the Michigan Girls’ Junior State Amateur Championship and won the championship, the youngest in the tournament’s 45-year history.

“I chose to do this,” she explained at the time, “because I felt the older division would provide more competition. All the colleges want to see how you play against older people and on longer yardage.”

She’s committed to Purdue. “I like the coaching staff, love the practice facilities and they have two great courses.”

Lauren was around 5 or 6 years old when she first accompanied her father to a golf driving range. “I could see from the start that she had a God-given talent,” says Ryan Timpf, a 1-handicap player. “Her mental attitude is outstanding. She has a steely resolve.”

“I loved playing in the Catholic League,” Lauren said. “I’ve made a lot of great friends playing in tournaments and in matches against them.”

Senior Lauren Timpf of Macomb Lutheran North has been one of the top prep golfers in the state since she burst onto the scene when she was 14 and won a junior state amateur championship against older players. A Purdue commit, Lauren says she loved playing in the Catholic League. She’s aiming to win her third medalist honor in the upcoming state golf tournament. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Timpf)
Senior Lauren Timpf of Macomb Lutheran North has been one of the top prep golfers in the state since she burst onto the scene when she was 14 and won a junior state amateur championship against older players. A Purdue commit, Lauren says she loved playing in the Catholic League. She’s aiming to win her third medalist honor in the upcoming state golf tournament. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Timpf)

The Detroit Golf Club South is a special memory. It’s where she shot a 64 her sophomore year. This last time around, she managed a 2-over 71 after recovering from a double bogey on the first hole.

She, too, like Melendez, will be aiming to win the state Division 3 medalist honor for the third year in a row. Lutheran North is the defending D3 state champion.

Bishop Division scoreboard

St. Ursula 302, Mercy 311, Lutheran North 322, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook 324, Toledo Notre Dame Academy 329, Bloomfield Hills Marian 357.

Top 10 Individuals

Emma Myers (St. Ursula) 69, Mckenzie Behnke (Cranbrook) 71, Saige Rothey (Lutheran North) 71, Lauren Timpf (Lutheran North) 71, Maeve Casey (Mercy) 74, Sydney Socha (St. Ursula) 74, Sydney Antypas (St. Ursula) 75, Abby Slankster (Mercy) 75, Marin Gaubert (Notre Dame Academy) 77, Lila Polakowski (Mercy) 79, Sophie Kouza (Cranbrook) 79.

Cardinal Division Scoreboard

Greenhills 328, St. Catherine of Siena 340, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 364, Dearborn Divine Child 376, Royal Oak Shrine 385, Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard 402, Jackson Lumen Christi 403, Warren Regina 411 and Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart 425.

Top 10 Individuals

Mia Melendez (Greenhills) 65, Rachel Ray (St. Catherine) 71, Mary Ward (St. Mary’s) 78, Hannah Lee (Greenhills) 81, Anna Bush (Shrine) 83, Sophie Harris (Divine Child) 84, Sydney Schafer (St. Catherine) 84, Lucy Krichko (St. Catherine) 85, Bella Young (Greenhills) 86, Erin McCormick (Divine Child) 87.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].



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