Deardorff Earns No. 1 Seed at 112th Michigan Amateur

112TH MICHIGAN AMATEUR: Deardorff Earns Medalist Honors, No. 1 Seed 

  BLOOMFIELD HILLS – The work by Patrick Deardorff of Clarkston on his golf game in the last five years has led to this: Stroke play medalist and the top seed for match play in the 112th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland, and his name inscribed on the historic Chuck Kocsis Stroke Play Trophy. 

 Deardorff, an Eastern Michigan University golfer, shot a second consecutive 3-under 67 for a 36-hole 134 total to top the field of 156 golfers on the North Course at Oakland Hills Country Club Wednesday.  

  The tall lefthander who switches sides to putt from the right will lead the 64 golfers who made the stroke play cut into match play starting Thursday morning. The round of 32 will follow in the afternoon, with the round of 16 and quarterfinals on Friday and the semifinal and final matches on Saturday. 

  Deardorff, the Michigan Amateur runner-up a year ago to Grand Valley State University golfer Nick Krueger of Spring Lake, said being medalist means a lot. 

  “Considering I was a kid probably four or five years ago that was not making Michigan Amateur cuts, and not to be able to contend in this kind of stuff, it’s a big honor to win stroke play in this event and get my name on that trophy,” he said. “To get that number one seed is pretty cool. Not that I ever thought I couldn’t do it, it’s just that when you do, it’s a reality check and kind of cool to see.” 

  Seven golfers played off for the final six spots in the field of 64 at 11-over 151, and this was the fourth consecutive year that the medalist’s score has been 134. The match play pairings and bracket can be found at 

  Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills, who is headed to Michigan State University’s golf team in the fall, shot a second consecutive 69 for 138, and Drew Coble of Lake Orion, a Grand Valley State University golfer, shot the low round of the day, a 4-under 66 to join him in second place. 

 Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, who is already at MSU, shot 70 for 139 to take the four-seed spot. 

 Three golfers landed at 141 including University of Wisconsin golfer Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe Farms, who shot 73, Ricky Shilts of Byron Center and Railside Country Club, who shot 70, and Charles DeLong of DeWitt and Grand Valley State, who shot 72 and last week tied for second in the Hall Financial Michigan Open as the low amateur. 

 Deardorff said his second round was highlighted by three birdies in four holes (Nos. 11, 13, 14). 

  “I hit some really good iron shots on those holes, one to about two feet for birdie on 13,” he said.  “Then coming in the last three holes I kept my composure. I knew where I was on the leaderboard. I was just trying to give myself good looks (for birdie) and if they went in, they went it.” 

 Fox Hills Golf & Learning Center coach Jeff Goble has worked with Deardorff on his game for several years, and Deardorff said it is always a work in progress. 

  “Before I went to college, I was more of a guy that just had a good short game,” he said. “I kind of hit it everywhere, not that I was proud of it. When I made it to a higher level and when I’m trying to compete in tournament like this, you have to be able to hit the ball and hit it well. So, I would say in the last three or four years, I put a lot of time in on my iron game. I still work on my short game, but I’m really trying to hone the swing.” 

  Deardorff won the 2019 Michigan Junior Boys’ State Amateur title, which includes match play, and said that combined with last year’s run to the title match that he lost in 19 holes gives him great confidence in the format. 

   “You are going to eventually get to the person that’s playing as good as you, but I like that it is one guy against one guy,” he said. “I’m going to celebrate a little bit today because of this and how I played, but by tomorrow morning I will turn that off, and you know, play one round at a time.” 

 Coble’s 66 was highlighted by an eagle-2 on the par 4 No. 7 hole. He hit his drive 359 yards and then holed out a 68-yard wedge shot. 

  “It’s a good start,” said Coble, who won two college tournaments as part of one of the top golf teams in Division II. “Good play in stroke play, now it’s on to match play and you know everyone is good once you make it to match play so you have to be on your A game and continue to play well.  I’m playing pretty well right now so I want to continue what I’m doing.” 

  Pinili, a recent Brother Rice High School graduate who has been collecting high school honors for his play in the school season, said the two days of stroke play made him realize if he trusts his game he will be fine for match play. 

  “I’m just going to play my game and stay in my bubble,” he said. “I try not to worry about what others are doing and play the best that I can.” 


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