Canton’s James Piot Tops Canton’s Donnie Trosper to win Michigan Junior Amateur Championship
YPSILANTI – James Piot rallied from behind and then held on with great putting to beat fellow Canton resident and 2013 champion Donnie Trosper in the final match of the 37th Michigan Junior Amateur Championship Thursday.
Piot, 16 and a junior to be at Detroit Catholic Central, made a 25-foot par-saving putt on No. 18 to beat Trosper 1-up in the championship presented by Miles of Golf/Kendall Academy/Titleist at The Polo Fields-Washtenaw.
“It means a lot,” Piot said. “It’s my first win of the season actually and I thought I played pretty well and I’ve been working hard. Hard work pretty much pays off.”
Trosper, 18, the 2014 GAM Junior Boys Player of the Year, and the top seed because he was medalist in the 36-hole match stroke play at the start of the week, birdied two of the first three holes and had a 3-up lead through five holes.
Piot rallied strong and quickly though with three consecutive birdies, two of which won holes and was just 1-down starting the back nine.
Trosper went 2-up at the par 5 No. 10 with a birdie, but Piot battled back winning holes with pars at 14 and 15 where Trosper missed greens and par-saving putts. The two Canton golfers each birdied 16 and then at 17 Trosper’s shot flew right over the top of the flag and into a back bunker. He left the first bunker shot in the sand and ended up conceding the hole.
Both golfers missed the green at 18 with approach shots, and Piot calmly stroked in his 25-foot par putt to secure the match.
“I played pretty good this week, I mean I beat the whole field by six (shots) the first couple of days,” Trosper said. “If I made a couple of those par putts coming in, I probably win it. But James made a lot of putts. He made a great putt on 18.”
Piot said he figured the wind would be to his advantage at the start of the match, too.
“Donnie hits it really high, and he might have used too much club at 17, too,” he said. “I went for the middle of the green there. I didn’t want to end up in that back bunker and my putter came back for me on the back nine. I was pretty confident with it and Donnie missed a couple of par putts he doesn’t normally miss.”
Piot reached the final with a semifinal win over 2013 GAM Junior Boys Player of the Year Andrew Walker of Battle Creek in 19 holes, and it took Trosper 23 holes and a 30-foot birdie putt to finally top Dylan Deogun of Orchard Lake in the morning.
Trosper, 18, is headed to Central Florida to play college golf. Deogun, 18, is headed to Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and Walker, 17, is an early verbal commitment to Michigan State University.
Piot, who was runner-up to Jake Kneen of White Lake last year, plans to defend his title next summer.
“It feels good to win,” he said. “It’s a lot of golf and I was pretty consistent all week.”
Learn more and see the championship results, bracket and photo gallery at www.gam.org. Also, follow the GAM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
via Greg Johnson