FARMINGTON HILLS — Midland’s Kimberly Dinh tends to put too much pressure on herself to perform well competitively.

“I get back to work, chase my goals, and forget about having fun doing it,” she said. “I enjoy it more when I embrace the highs and lows of tournament golf. It doesn’t always go the way you want it to.

For example, Dinh felt she performed poorly in June while defending her 2021 Michigan Women’s Amateur title.

“Then I played a lot better at the (US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship) and allowed myself to enjoy the experience,” she said. “I just wanted to play as well as possible and let myself be played.”

Dinh eventually reached the quarterfinals in US Women’s Mid-Amateur match play at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla., where she fell to eventual champion Krissy Carman 4 and 3.

The performance helped her top the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) points list and she was named GAM Player of the Year for the second year in a row, manager Ken Hartmann announced today. principal of USGA competitions and services for MAG.

Player of the Year point totals are available in a drop-down menu on the PLAY tab on GAM.org. Earlier this week, Spring Lake’s Nick Krueger was named Male Player of the Year and over the next few weeks GAM will be announcing more Players of the Year across gender and age categories. MAG Players of the Year are presented by Carl’s Golfland.

Dinh, 30 and a member of GAM through the Midland Country Club, marked his season with the US Mid-Amateur race and leads the list with 635 points. A senior research specialist for Dow Chemical in Midland, she paired her four-week vacation with tournaments.

Laura Bavaird of Trenton, a member of GAM as director of the GAM Foundation, finished second with 445 points. The 2004 Grosse Ile graduate also made a run in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur, ironically falling in the Round of 16 to Dinh, 5 and 4.

Sophie Stevens of Highland and Prestwick Village Golf Club, the GAM women’s champion this summer, finished third with 415 points.

Traverse City and Bay Meadows Family Golf Course Dy sisters Anika and Anci finished fourth and fifth with 405 and 365 points respectively. They forged a standout moment of the golf season when they faced off in the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship championship game at Great Oaks Country Club. Anci, a golfer from the University of Indianapolis, beat her older sister, Anika, who plays for the University of Michigan, in a spectacular 21-hole course.

Dinh called winning the player of the year an unexpected bonus.

“I don’t play in a ton of tournaments, so I want to play well in the ones I have the chance to play, especially the GAM tournaments,” she said. “They are so well managed. The competition is our state’s best players and everyone is friendly. To be player of the year again is exciting. I really didn’t expect that.”

Dinh said his biggest golf moment of the summer was not on the GAM or USGA schedule. She played with fellow GAM member Chaithra Katamneni of Midland against LPGA stars as a two-person team in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (72 holes, $2.5 million in foursomes and four-ball LPGA Round).

“It was a great pleasure to play in my hometown against the LPGA players,” she said. “It’s rare that you get to play in your hometown, so to do it and represent the golfers here and have family and friends to watch was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We didn’t make a putt and we missed the cut, but we didn’t play badly and I know I enjoyed every minute there, especially seeing all the people I met over the years thanks to golf.

As for next year, Dinh is planning a similar schedule.

“I always set goals – I like to have a carrot to chase when I get the chance to practice,” she said. “I still enjoy playing and I feel like I can improve in many areas and put the ball in the hole better. Also, for me, golf has a social aspect to it which I enjoy. I just like hanging out with friends and I like to compete, with most tournaments I play it’s a bit of both.

Hartmann said Dinh finds a way to compete with younger players who have more time and opportunities to play and train.

“She’s smart, works hard on her game when she has time and obviously works on the right things,” he said. “She had a great performance in the United States Women’s Mid-Amateur. She’s a threat to win any tournament she enters because she hits it long enough and has a good short game. She has the skills to play and has a great approach to it all. She works but doesn’t overwork herself, and she seems to enjoy doing it.