Text: Greg Johnson
Anika Dy, 17-year-old native of Traverse City, Michigan, secured the first place win with six birdies last week during the 26th Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain’s Mountain Ridge Course on June 24 through June 26, 2019 in Thompsonville, Michigan.
Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain’s Mountain Ridge Course on June 24 through June 26, 2019 in Thompsonville, Michigan.
The Traverse City-based golfer has developed her golf game at the four-season resort of Crystal Mountain and since the age of 11-years-old has teed it up in the Michigan Women’s Open, which has been played at the resort for roughly the last 17 years.
The former two-time, Drive, Chip and Putt finalist at Augusta National admitted she had home-course advantage and a hot putter on the back-nine last Wednesday on her way to victory at her favorite place for golf.
Dy, who is also a cart lot attendant at Crystal Mountain, scored a five-shot win with a final 4-under-par 68, with a 4-under-par 32 on the back nine of the Mountain Ridge Course last week. She totaled 12-under-par 204 for the 54-hole championship event.
“This year I just really felt it,” Dy said. “I’m super happy to be able to win at my home course. Being here at Crystal helped so much. This tells me the work I have been doing is working, and that if I keep going good things will come in time.”
As a recent Traverse City West High School graduate headed to the University of Michigan in the fall, and an amateur golfer, she wasn’t eligible to win the first-place check in the $40,000 tournament. Dy is just the second amateur to win the open championship that draws professionals and amateurs from across the country, and the youngest to ever win. Previously, Breanne Hall of Kentwood, who is now the women’s golf coach at Illinois State, won in 2003 while playing golf for the University of Toledo.
Haylee Harford of Leavittsburg, Ohio, who was playing in her first professional tournament after just graduating from Furman University; and mini-tour professional Macy Hubbard of Mason, Ohio, who charged in the final round with a 66; tied for second place at 7-under-par 209 and split first and second-place money for $5,250 each.
Dy, a three-time Division 1 high school state champion and Michigan’s unprecedented three-time Miss Golf, said some nerves and a few poor shots kept her at even-par through the front nine. Then she hit it to about two feet for birdie on the par-4 10th hole and made three consecutive birdies starting at the 13th hole with birdie putts of three feet, 10 feet, and eight feet.
“All my putts were going in on the back nine—that’s what I remember. My irons started clicking. The key that helped me win this week was that even when I got in a bad spot, I’ve played this course so many times that I know what I have to do and where I have to go. I’m comfortable here in almost any spot, and I was able to stay calm and just focus on my game,” Dy said.
“I didn’t know I won, because I did not look at the leaderboards on the course at all. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I just tried to keep it going. I think I handled it well; not thinking about anything too much. I just focused on my game and hitting good shots, and not letting what other people do affect me,” Dy added.
Dy also noted winning an event that included professionals in the field would not change her mind about college.
“I look forward to being on a team in that atmosphere,” Dy said. “We will see how college golf goes before even thinking about pro golf.”
The rest of this summer will be spent playing in tournaments, working on her game, and working as a cart lot attendant at Crystal Mountain. In her trophy ceremony speech, she also called the people at Crystal Mountain her Crystal Mountain family.
“The support I received this week, and really always here, is amazing,” Dy said. “Everybody makes me feel at home, and I’m just so comfortable here knowing that people want me to succeed and will help me in whatever way they can. This is an amazing place.”
Crystal Mountain Head Golf Professional Greg Babinec called Dy a talented golfer, wonderful person, and great employee.
“She is special, but you wouldn’t know it to just talk to her,” Babinec said. “She is great with people, and then you watch her play the game and realize she is special. Everybody here is so proud of her.”
Dy also said Crystal Mountain is the perfect place for her family, which includes another talented Dy golfer in sister Anci, and more coming.
“It’s a great resort for families, not just our family,” Dy said.
Dy started working with Scott Wilson, a former Crystal Mountain golf professional, as a youngster. Dy said she is a product of his teaching, and the practice and help from all directions she has received at Crystal Mountain.
“It really is special to win here,” Dy said. “This is home.”
Crystal Mountain was established in 1956, and is a family-owned, four-season resort that is nationally recognized for its skiing, golf and award-winning spa. Located in northwest-lower-Michigan, a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the resort features downhill and cross-country skiing, the Michigan Legacy Art Park, 36 holes of golf with the Mountain Ridge Course and the Betsie Valley Course, Michigan’s only alpine slide, an outdoor water playground, a variety of lodging and dining options, year-round activities and kids program, an IACC-approved conference center, wedding facilities, real-estate, and the Crystal Spa.