The 2023 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
L.P.G.A. Shines on the Midland Country Club
By: Richard Curry
25th July, 2023
The Midland Country Club has one great club house. It has 900-plus members with seven luxury suites on the second floor. The club house has a water fall cascading down three tierces of rocks surrounded by hydrangeas on each side. For good measure it has a six lane 25-meter swimming pool. I also came across a grave yard (how's that for your ultimate hole in one) walking nearby on the way to a hole around this gorgeous and challenging course.
Here is the name game for this week compiled from Asian golfers in Midland competing in this year's Great Lakes Bay Invitational: Oh,Do,Liu,NohYin,Kang,Joo, & Ly-J. Asian women dominate the L.P.G.A. They perfect their swing. The girls hold up under pressure. They are the most precise golfers in the world. To a girl they have a relentless work ethic. South Korean lady golfers have won 50 % of the winnings on the tour. Seven of the top L.P.G.A. women are Asian golfers. It's their training and sacrifice. They eat-sleep-golf 24 hours a day.
Day One saw Castren & Tan go -6. Saso & Boutier went -5. Nelly & Jessica are not playing here this year, which is unfortunate. My friend Dennis Konuszewski (a Saginaw County Sports H.O.F. inductee) took a team to the Little League World Series years back. He said at 4:00 AM in a driving rain a Taiwanese baseball team was practicing in the parking lot. This is a bit of madness there.
Day 2: Two Hour rain delay. This course is 35-35-70/lt's 6165 yards. Tournament shocker: The stars Brooke Henderson & Lexi Thompson missed the cut by 1 shot. 37 teams made the cut. -14: Paula Reto/Amelia Lewis (8 birdies-1 Eagle). Also at -13 was Matilda Castren & Kelly Tan.
Day 3: This Tournament is in its 5th year in Midland. At -18 was: Cheyenne Knight & Elizabeth Szokol. They shot a 62. Coming in at -15 was Matilda Castren & Kelly Tan with a 68. Next year's dates: 6/24/2023 to 6/30/2024. It was changed because of the Olympics in France. The best two holes on the coarse are #13 and #18 - both over water. The 2019 Dow Invitational was the first team event in LPGA history. Since its inception -this tournament has raised $1.5 Million for local charities.
Day 4): Partial rain delay. The winners came to the final hole to the theme music of "Game ofThrones" with an amazing -23 (257 Score). They were Cheyenne Knight - age 26 from Woodlands, Texas. She has earned $801,116 this season. She has four top 10 finishes and is rated 39th. Her partner is Elizabeth Szokal - 29 years-old from Tampa, Florida. In her career she has won $1,287,628 and this was her first ever win. These two each got $328,115 (total $656,230. Second place was: Matilda Castren & Kelly Tan: they split $320,035. Third place was $77,400 each for six different golfers. Total payout for the Tournament was $2.7 Million.