Former Pro, Eight College Golfers, Part of “Sweet 16” in Michigan Amateur Championship

Andy Matthews Is In The Sweet 16 Of The 2016 Michigan Amateur
Andy Matthews Is In The Sweet 16 Of The 2016 Michigan Amateur

Former Pro, Eight College Golfers, Part of “Sweet 16” in Michigan Amateur Championship

BATH – Andy Matthews, the 2001 Michigan Amateur champion from Ada, is back in amateur golf and loving it.

“I’m having a blast,” said the 36-year-old former professional tour golfer who won two matches Thursday to reach the prestigious “Sweet 16” of the 105th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Eagle Eye Golf Club.

The 16 remaining golfers will play two more rounds of match play Friday to determine a final four who will square off in semifinal and final matches Saturday.

Among the 16 are the reinstated amateur and former professional in Matthews, an assistant golf coach, a caddie, a family businessman in heating and cooling, an attorney, three financial planners and eight college golfers

The youngest is 19-year-old Domenic Mancinelli of Northville, a Grand Valley State University golfer, and the oldest, is 2006 champion Greg Davies, 48, of West Bloomfield, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member who is in the Sweet 16 for the 10th time.

Andrew Chapman, a 36-year-old Traverse City financial planner and the 2013 champion, made it three former champions in the final 16.

Dan Ellis, 26 and originally from Marquette, is the assistant golf coach at Michigan State. He will be joined in the round of 16 by two of his golfers – Sam Weatherhead of Grand Rapids and Josh Heinze of Canton.

Jason May, a 42-year-old financial planner from Birmingham, was 0-10 in matches in his veteran career in the Michigan Amateur, but won twice to make his first Sweet 16.

“How about that?” he said.

A director of business development for an aviation software company (iFlightPlanner), Matthews played on tours around the world after being a golf team captain at the University of Michigan. He won multiple times including the Mexican PGA Championship, but almost three years ago decided it was time to come home.

“I was playing some of my best golf at the time, but I didn’t have any more gas in the tank,” he said. “I chased the dream. I was on top a few times, but I found I wanted to be home working.”

Matthews beat Canton’s Donnie Trosper, a University of Central Florida golfer, 1-up in the round of 64, and then held off Dearborn’s Evan Bowser, who recently completed his career at Oakland University, by the same score.

“Talented young guys,” said Matthews, who is in the Sweet 16 for a sixth time and first time since 2003. “The match with Donnie was probably the best pure match I’ve ever been a part of. He played great, I played well and it was tough, great golf. It’s fun to be playing competitive golf again. It’s been almost three years. It is fun hitting golf shots when they matter, and now I don’t need them to matter as much as they used to.”

Qualifying medalist Jack Weller of Swartz Creek, the top seed, was ousted by Mancinelli 6 and 4 in the round of 32. Henry Do of Canton, the 2014 champion, fell in the first round to Weatherhead 3 and 2. Two-time champion Randy Lewis of Alma was beaten by Sweet 16 member Ben Lewis of Holland 2 and 1 in the first round of matches.

The complete match play bracket and results can be found at www.gam.org

The “Sweet” 16

  • Domenic Mancinelli, 19, Northville, Grand Valley State University golfer
  • Jake Kneen, 20, White Lake, Oakland University golfer
  • Andy Sorentino, 38, Shelby Township, attorney
  • Josh Dirlam, 20, Jackson, Lawrence Tech golfer
  • Greg Davies, 48, West Bloomfield, financial planner
  • Ben Lewis, 23, Holland, caddie
  • Austin Eccleton, 22, Jackson, Grand Valley State University golfer
  • Andy Matthews, 36, Ada, sales director
  • Dan Ellis, 26, Lansing, assistant golf coach at Michigan State University
  • Ben VanScoyk, 20, Grand Rapids, Calvin College golfer
  • Nick Gunthorpe, 26, Ovid, works in family business
  • Reed Hrynewich, 21, Muskegon, University of Michigan golfer
  • Jason May, 42, Birmingham, financial planner
  • Sam Weatherhead, 21, Grand Rapids, Michigan State University golfer
  • Andrew Chapman, 36, Traverse City, financial planner
  • Josh Heinze, 21, Canton, Michigan State University golfer

Via Greg Johnson

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