EAST LANSING — The last putt Anci Dy would make of her record setting career as a Traverse City West Titan was the easiest one she had all day.
The hardest was what happened next: saying goodbye.
Dy finished off her final round and high school career with a one inch putt for par on the par-3 No. 13 at Forest Akers East Golf Course in East Lansing. It was her third straight look at birdie on the last three holes.
The 2019 state runner-up carded a 74 for a fifth place tie.
“It was an up and down struggle all day,” Dy said.
Changes to the state tournament that allowed the event during the coronavirus pandemic meant Dy and the rest of the some-200 golfers who qualified between Divisions 1 and 2 wouldn’t get a second round to improve their scores.
Dy followed her sister Anika at TC West, making Friday the end of a six-year stretch of the Dy’s dominance in the Traverse City prep golf scene. Three state titles for Anika, who is now at the University of Michigan, and now four top-six finishes at the state tournament for Anci, who will be heading to the University of Indianapolis.
“They really were role models for everyone young and old,” TC Central junior Grace Maitland said.
West coach Karl Gagnon said the last round coaching a Dy sister was emotional for him.
“She’s been something else,” Gagnon said. “I’ve been coaching the golf team for four years and she’s been on it all four.”
Considered a favorite for state champion heading into the event, Dy was even through 10 holes, paired with Samantha Coleman of Northville and Maggie Pietila of Brighton and starting on hole No. 14 of a shotgun start.
She double-bogeyed hole No. 6 after what she called “the worst” 4-iron shot she has taken. The uphill green didn’t get any easier as golfers started to face consistent cross winds at 15 mph gusting up to 35.
Dy bogeyed No. 7 — pushing her five strokes away from the lead and with six holes remaining — and Gagnon said he felt that’s when the round kind of got away from her.
“I literally saw the trees, they were blowing like crazy and I went to pull up my hat and it blew off my head,” Maitland said. “At that point I was like ‘I really just have to hit the shot as hard as I could’ and it went 50 yards shorter.”
Maitland was even through three holes and plus-one through five.
But the sun went away, and her Dad showed up.
“Then I started playing real bad,” Maitland said. “Might be his fault, but I won’t blame it on him.”
Perhaps it was bad mojo for the whole field past five holes.
At that point, clouds rolled in and raindrops started to fall. The tournament lasted six and a half hours, with most golfers taking extra time on the green in 2- and 3-putt situations.
In tournament play, coaches are not permitted to talk with their golfers when they’re on the greens in tournament play. That’s why Central coach Louis McManus made it a point to give her golfers a heads up this week in practice how to read windy situations on the green.
She said if the leaves on the green are blowing up, then that’s when you know the putt will be affected by wind.
Fittingly, Dy said leaves were everywhere.
“Getting to the green with that wind was a little bit of a struggle,” she said.
The Titans carded a 353 as a team, 40 strokes behind Division 1 state champion Northville, for eighth place. Grand Blanc’s Kate Brody won the D1 state title with a 70 — the only other golfer under par among a field of some-200 Friday aside from Okemos’ Allison Cui, the defending state champ for D1. Okemos competed in D2 this year on the West course.
All of the Titans finished below 100. Senior Ava Warren carded an 85 for 32nd place, junior Hattie Holmes carded a 95 for a tie at 62nd, junior Ava Krueger shot 98 for a tie at 74th and sophomore Ainslee Hewitt shot 99 for tie at 77th.
Gagnon said he thinks the latter three — Holmes, Krueger and Hewitt — will be back for more next year.
“I think they struggled, but they’re young,” Gagnon said. “Hopefully they’re going to build on it for next year, I’m sure they’re disappointed.”
Central finished last out of 18 teams with a team score of 392. McManus said, however, that’s about average for the Trojans.
“I think they didn’t do as badly as they think they did,” McManus said. “The greens were tougher than what I think they thought they were going to be. We didn’t come for a practice round this year because three out of the five had played (the course).”
Maitland led the Trojans with a score of 94 for a tie at 60th, Sydney Rademacher shot 95, Sierra Batcha shot 101, Addison Balentine shot 102 and Kennedy Clark shot 111.
Petoskey, competing in Division 2 on the West course, finished 14th as a team. Maeli Coveyou led the Northmen for a score of 96 for top-50. Aubrey Williams, Amanda Feeley and Laura Pawlick all shot 100 to tie at 62nd. Maely Spence shot 109 for 90th.
The state tournament continues Saturday with Division 3 and 4.
State golf finals