Maybank photo

PJ Maybank of Cheboygan follows his shot in the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship.

YPSILANTI — PJ Maybank III of Cheboygan beat the rest of the boys by six shots and Ariel Chang of Macomb Township topped the other girls in the field by eight in the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship Tuesday at Washtenaw Golf Club.

Griffin Mawson of Traverse City was the top 15-and-under boy, and Lauren Timpf of Macomb won the 15-and-under girls title.

A field of 153 junior golfers played in the first GAM junior tournament of the season, and champions were also determined in the 15-and-under age groups.

“I had a rough start with a bogey on the first hole, but then I had four birdies in a row on the front nine and that definitely helped the score,” said the 15-year-old Maybank, who shot a closing 2-under 70 for a two-day total of 141 and chose to play in the age 16-18 championship group. “I’m very happy to have won. That was definitely the goal this week.”

Jack Zubkus of Ada shot a closing 74 for 147 for second among the boys. Brockton English of Shelby Township shot 77 for 149 and third, and Ian Smith of Canton shot 75 for 150 and fourth place.

The 17-year-old Chang fired a 1-under 71 for a 144 total. Grace Boczar of Canton shot a 75 for 152, and Sophie Stevens shot 80 for 152 to tie for second among the girls.

In the boys 15-and-under play, Robert Burns of Grand Blanc shot 76 for 150 and Will Preston of Grand Rapids shot 74 for 150 to fall just one shot short of Mawson in a tie for second place. Ieuan Jones, who closed with a 70, and Drew Miller of East Lansing, who shot 78, were next at 152.

Maybank, who won his second GAM junior title and first Junior Kickoff title, was coming off a medalist performance in a recent qualifier for next week’s Michigan Amateur Championship on The Heather course at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs.

He said he was putting well on what he called difficult greens.

“They are very undulating, but I had no three-putts and that tells me a lot about my putting,” Maybank said. “It’s a great golf course. I love it. When I’m putting good, I’m usually playing pretty good and I hope to carry it into next week.”

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