Saline’s AD teams up with Midland golf star for USA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship
The first time Ashley Mantha and Kimberly Dinh were on the same golf course together, Dinh edged out Mantha in the playoffs to win an amateur championship.
But two years after the two were opponents at Michigan Mid-Amateur in 2020, they will now compete for the second time as teammates in a national event this week.
Saline High School athletic director Mantha and Dinh, a former Midland Dow golf star and 2021 GAM Player of the Year, will team up to compete in the seventh U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Grand Reserve Golf Club in Porto Rico.
The pair will play a practice round on Tuesday followed by a qualifying match on Wednesday and Thursday in hopes of qualifying and qualifying for the playoffs which will be played from Friday to Sunday.
Both players will play their own ball during the competition, but will use the lowest best score as their team’s score for each hole and round.
Mantha and Dinh competed in the event last year but missed the cut, despite placing first in qualifying this year in Indianapolis.
“We played 19-20 holes with her that day (in 2020). Our personalities just blended together. Manta said. “We got together (last summer) and tried qualifying and did it. So we thought, ‘Let’s try again next year.’ »
Although their main goal is to have fun – as they will also be using this time as spring break – they hope they will pull it off this time around.
“Our first goal is to have fun,” Mantha said. “Her and I, it’s our vacation this spring. We haven’t done spring break or anything, so it’s kind of a reprieve. But our next goal is to make it past stroke play and the cut.
“We’re not trying to get a college scholarship or show off. We’re like, ‘hey, let’s go have some fun somewhere warm and hopefully play some good golf.’
The duo will be one of 64 tandems at the event in Puerto Rico. The tournament will also be the first-ever USGA championship to be held outside of the Americas.
Mantha, 35, and Dinh, 29, will be looking to build on experience when they play on Wednesday as they will be playing mostly high school and college players. The tandem will also be the third oldest team on the board.
But that doesn’t bother Mantha because the possibility of continuing to compete is what’s most intriguing.
“We’re really, really excited,” Mantha said. “According to statistics at the moment, the average age is 18.9. We’re kind of twice their age, at least me. We always appreciate the fact that we are here and able to keep up.