Bloomfield Hills Marian junior Shannon Kennedy finished with the top individual score at the Division 3 girls golf state final Oct. 18-19 at The Meadows Golf Club. As a freshman, Kennedy also shot the top score in the D-2 state final.

Bloomfield Hills Marian junior Shannon Kennedy finished with the top individual score at the Division 3 girls golf state final Oct. 18-19 at The Meadows Golf Club. As a freshman, Kennedy also shot the top score in the D-2 state final.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Kennedy, Marian golf channel inner grit to win state title

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 28, 2019

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — It was the team motto all season long, and in a moment when it was needed most, the Bloomfield Hills Marian golf team played with grit en route to capturing its first golf state title in school history.

The Mustangs were able to hold off Flint Powers Catholic to win the state title by three strokes Oct. 19 at The Meadows Golf Club near the campus of Grand Valley State University.

“We’re thrilled for the girls,” Mustangs co-coach Cathleen Fritz said. “Leon (Braisted III) and I had coached at another high school (Birmingham Seaholm) together and had won a number of state championships, so we knew what it was about, and we knew the prep that the girls needed to do. We were thrilled when they did the hard work to get there.”

After day 1, the Mustangs had an 11-shot lead over Powers. Shannon Kennedy and Marlo Hudson led the way, shooting nine birdies between the two golfers. Kennedy finished at 3 under par for the day.

“I liked the course a lot,” Kennedy said. “I just played it smart and kept it in the fairways and greens. I played really well.”

Kennedy finished as the individual state champion. It’s a feat she also accomplished her freshman year. The junior had 11 total birdies and never shot higher than a bogey on any hole.

“She was calm, confident and she was making smart decisions,” Fritz said. “Grand Valley is not a bang your driver all day long course, and Shannon was smart about when to pull her driver out of the bag versus pulling a long iron off the tee.”

Hudson finished at 6 over par on day 1 with three birdies. Fritz said the No. 2 player’s success on the first day was paramount. The coach expected Hudson to finish with the two-day total that she did, but her first round score of 79 was significant in giving the Mustangs that lead.

With Kennedy and Hudson leading the way, Sarah Kuredjian, Lauren Sass and Laura Emerson, who made up the rest of the Marian lineup, provided depth and played prominent roles in bringing home the championship.

“I’ve got to say that our No. 4 player, Laura Emerson, she played consistent golf,” Fritz said. “She just was steady. You win states with your third, fourth and fifth players, and for her to put together her scores the way she did was huge.”

The second day was a bit of a different story for Marian as slowly but surely, the Mustangs saw their lead shrink. Powers was the defending D-3 champion, and according to Fritz, Powers’ No. 1 golfer didn’t put up her normal score on the first day.

Marian shot a 354 on the second day, while Powers came roaring back with a 346.

“We knew that they were going to come back,” Fritz said. “The key was keeping our girls calm and not focusing on the other girls’ numbers.”

Having worked with Dr. Jason Novetsky, a sport and performance psychology coach with the Champion Mindset Group, throughout the season, the Mustangs knew exactly how to handle pressure situations.

“The day before we left for states, I met with him and I was working with him on visualization and visualizing myself in pressure situations, so once I get into those situations I can know what the feeling is like,” Kennedy said. “When I was sitting in his office, I imagined the 18th hole the same way it played out. I think it definitely was very effective.”

By taking things one hole at a time and trusting in the play of their teammates, the Mustangs beat Powers 689-692 to win the state title. Kennedy said she could feel the state title coming on the 15th hole on day 2 as she watched Hudson hit a great tee shot on No. 14.

“Everyone was still grinding,” she said. “ I knew we could do it.”

The state title run caps off a season where the Mustangs won the Catholic High School League Bishop Division title as well as a D-3 regional title.

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