EAST LANSING -- Emmie Pietila's last-minute change of plans turned into a Michigan Women's Amateur championship.

The 18-year-old from Brighton was planning to play in a Junior PGA Championship qualifier in Kentucky this week, but transportation issues landed her in the tournament at Forest Akers West Golf Course.

"It's funny, because when I won the GAM Championship (last year), it's the same thing," Pietila said of the Golf Association of Michigan Championship. "I almost didn't play because of another event, but something came up and I ended up playing and won it. It's crazy how that worked out the same."

Pietila defeated Natalie Brehm of Mt. Pleasant, 2 and 1. air max 2011 shoes It was the fifth match in three days for both women after Monday and Tuesday's stroke-play qualifying rounds. For Brehm, it was her third Michigan Women's Amateur final in four years. She was runner-up in 2009 and champion in 2010.

Pietila and her father, Aaron, were teary-eyed when she clinched by halving No. 17.

"This event is so stressful, especially with all the days, and you come down to the last match and tell yourself I don't want to lose this one," Pietila said. "All of that (emotion) comes into one day, especially the last three holes."

Brehm, who played at Michigan State, had to come from 4-down in her morning match to reach her third final, where she won the first hole but lost the second to make the match all square. Pietila won the fourth hole and never trailed again -- but never led by more than two.

Both almost eagled from 150 yards on No. 6. Brehm knocked it to within a foot, and Pietila answered to within 2 feet. They birdied to halve the hole.

"Making it this far was such an accomplishment," Brehm said. "However, I fell a little short ... but Emmie played great. She made more putts and hit more greens than I did, so she deserves to win. Whenever I thought I had an opening, she'd come back with a great up and down.

"It was just a great match. To make it to the finals is a big accomplishment, and hopefully I can get back here next year. I'd like to win this again some time."

 


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