Michigan’s Dy Sisters are Competitive Teammates September 28, 2017 | SANTA FE, N.M. By Tom Mackin

Anika Dy (left) and her younger sister, Anci, are competitive with each other, even while playing for the same team. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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As 14-year-old Anci Dy, of Traverse City, Mich., stood over a 15-foot birdie putt on her final hole during the second round of the USGA Women’s State Team Championship, her 16-year-old sister, Anika, watched from 125 yards away in the fairway while waiting to hit her own approach shot.

“I told Ken [Hartmann, Michigan’s non-playing captain], I just think she’s going to drain this,” said Anika. “And then I freaked out when it went in.”

On the green, Anci heard Anika’s cheering loud and clear. She’s used to the sisterly support, although it was a different situation in July when the two squared off in the quarterfinals of the Michigan Women’s Amateur at Saginaw Country Club.

“The whole dynamic of that match was weird,” said Anika. “The front nine was serious. We maybe said three words to each other. Then we made the turn and we just started being regular sisters again. It became like the fun matches we have when we practice. We were goofing around with each other.”

The match was all square at the turn before Anika went on to win, 2 and 1.

“When I heard she won her match that morning and that we would play each other in the afternoon, I was like, let’s go,” said Anci.

“I wanted it to happen,” said Anika. “I hope it happens again.”

They’re teammates this week at The Club at Las Campanas, as they are on the girls’ golf team at Traverse City West High School (currently ranked second among Division 1 schools in Michigan), where Anika is a junior and Anci a freshman.

Anika won Division 1 medalist honors in the 2016 Michigan Girls’ High School Golf Championship and was named Michigan’s Miss Golf that year. She competed in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club twice, placing third overall for Girls 14-15 in 2015. Anci, a medalist last week at the Harbor Springs Invitational won by Traverse City West, is the fourth-youngest competitor in the Women’s State Team field.

Yet despite playing in numerous state, regional and national competitions, the sisters acknowledge that playing in their first USGA championship has introduced them to a new level.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming here,” said Anika, who has verbally committed to play golf at the University of Michigan. “The age range is so varied and we’re used to playing with 12- to 18-year-olds in our junior events. But there’s some pretty experienced golfers here and they’re pretty good.”

“To be chosen as sisters to represent Michigan is truly an honor,” said Anci.

“I feel it definitely calmed down my nerves knowing she was here playing right in front of me on every hole,” said Anika. “If I was here without her, I would probably be a bit more nervous.”

“I’m showing her where not to go,” said Anci.

That final-hole birdie completed a round of 75 for Anci, one stroke better than her Round 1 score. Anika bettered her by two strokes with a 73 to go with a first-round 76.

“In my head, I really wanted to beat her,” said Anci. “But we just do our best and see who comes out on top.”

And that’s been changing as of late.

“I’m not going to lie, I’ve been consistently better than her,” said the older Dy. “But this past summer, she beat me a few times and is closing the gap pretty quickly. It keeps me on my toes.”

“I’m just here to make her better,” Anci said, laughing.

The Michigan team, which made the cut into Thursday’s final round, also includes Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, a Michigan Golf Hall of Famer who is the head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University. The latter job required her to sign an NCAA compliance waiver prior to the championship promising she would not make any recruiting attempts involving Anika.

The sisters, who each maintain a 4.0 grade-point average, have been doing homework before and after rounds this week. Anika gives their father gets credit for introducing them to the game. “My dad tried to play and I went with him. I stuck with it and he didn’t,” said Anika.

“I learned from her and wanted to play too,” said Anci.

Hartmann, who is the senior director of rules and competitions for the Golf Association of Michigan, says the sisters are among the top three juniors in the state.

“They’re both great girls and there’s competitiveness between them, but they’re good friends,” he said. “I don’t think they will ever get burned out because they have other interests and play other sports. It’s not just been all golf, all the time, which is a credit to their parents. They have bright futures ahead of them.”

Tom Mackin is an Arizona-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.

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