Novi junior Saanvitha Mullapudi looks to sink a putt at the MHSAA state finals.

Novi junior Saanvitha Mullapudi looks to sink a putt at the MHSAA state finals.

Photo provided by Robert Armstrong

Novi junior performs well at MHSAA Girls Golf Finals

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Novi Note | Published October 26, 2022

NOVI — It was a golf tournament that Novi High School junior Saanvitha Mullapudi will never forget.

For the first time in her high school career, Mullapudi qualified for the Michigan High School Athletic Association Girls Golf State Finals Oct. 14-15 at Bedford Valley Golf Club in Battle Creek.

Mullapudi had an impressive showing at the Region 2 Championship at Washtenaw Golf Club in Ypsilanti Oct. 6, shooting an 81 to claim the No.1 spot for individual qualifiers.

Mullapudi said she felt some nerves going into the state finals.

“It was a really great experience,” Mullapudi said. “Being my first time, it was intimidating seeing so many girls who were at the top of the league.”

Weather conditions were not in favor of Mullapudi and the rest of the field on day one, but she powered through with a score of 85 on the first day.

Mullapudi said she was able to work through the weather, but it was tougher than expected.

“It was definitely a tough adjustment,” Mullapudi said. “The second day was a much easier transition, but the first day I was shaking the first couple holes.”

Mullapudi finished with an 87 on day two for a two-round score of 172, which was good for 28th place in a field of more than 100 golfers.

Novi golf coach Robert Armstrong said Mullapudi was impressive throughout the weekend.

“She’s extremely hardworking and has a great all-around game,” Armstrong said. “She has all the skills and tools, but she just has to fine-tune some of the consistency things.”

Mullapudi’s biggest strength was on the green over the weekend.

She said the greens were a concern for her, but she was able to get in a rhythm.

“I really liked my putting throughout the tournament,” Mullapudi said. “There were definitely places where it could’ve improved, but I felt confident.”

Mullapudi will be a senior leader next year for Novi alongside Novi junior Riley McDonald.

Novi, who was 31 strokes behind the final team qualifier for states, will rely on its seniors and young underclassmen to qualify for states as a team. Novi last made the state finals as a team in the 2016-17 season, when it took second place.

“I love all my teammates, and I hope next year we’re able to experience states together,” Mullapudi said. “I think next year just taking on a more team-bonding aspect, and hanging out as a team is something I want to implement.”