GAM Junior Player of the Year: Devin Deogun

Devin Deogun

GAM Junior Player of the Year:Devin Deogun

 FARMINGTON HILLS – Devin Deogun of Orchard Lake said the summer of 2016 proved to him that hard work on his golf game helps produce positive results.

  Deogun, 17 and a Cranbrook-Kingswood High School senior headed to Michigan State on a golf scholarship next fall, was named the Golf Association of Michigan’s Junior Boy’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann, senior director of rules and competitions announced today.

  “I’ve worked hard on both the physical and mental parts of the game,” he said. “My swing coach, Dave VanLoozen (Edgewood Country Club PGA professional) has really helped me develop my game and my trainer, Mike Knight (Art of Strength in West Bloomfield), helped me get in great shape,” he said. “Being the Player of the Year makes me feel pretty good. There’s so much great competition.”

    Over the next few days the GAM will also name the Junior Girl’s Player of the Year for 2016. Tom Werkmeister of Grandville and Allyson Geer of Brighton were previously announced as the men’s and women’s players of the year. Randy Lewis of Alma and Julie Massa of Holt were named the top seniors. The winners will receive their awards in the spring at the GAM’s annual meeting for 2017. Honorees are determined based on the GAM Honor Roll, which awards points for tournament accomplishments.

    Deogun, who won two AJGA Tour championships and was runner-up in the Michigan Junior Amateur Championship, scored 1,235 points, just 10 more than 2015 Player of the Year James Piot of Canton.

   Ben Smith of Novi, who beat Deogun in the championship match of the Michigan Junior Amateur, was third, and Eric Nunn and Zach Rosendale, both of St. Johns, rounded out the top five. Piot and Rosendale, like Deogun, are in the 2017 Michigan State golf team recruiting class. Smith is headed to Georgia Tech next year, and Nunn will play at Grand Valley State.

    Deogun said he decided to accept the offer from Michigan State because the school offered the best balance of everything, including golf, academics, the campus atmosphere and he will join a team that already includes his older brother Dylan, who is a sophomore at MSU.

  “I’m going to be roommates with James, too,” he said. “We’ve become good friends competing with each other. I’ve played so much golf with him and Ben Smith. They have pushed me, and I’ve tried to push them. I think it has made us all better. I love competition, and in the summer I played every day and really worked at it and enjoyed it.”

  Deogun said the highlights of the summer were the AJGA wins and a top-10 finish in the AJGA’s Junior Players Championship, a national invitational. He played in a host of events with a full GAM schedule, too, and earned points by making it through the first round of U.S. Open Sectional play and teeing it up against several PGA Tour standouts in the sectional finals in Columbus, Ohio.

  “I learned a lot from that, just in the way they handle themselves on the course, take notes and play the game,” Deogun said.

  Michigan State golf coach Casey Lubahn said in a recent announcement regarding his recruiting class that Deogun is an impressive young man and elite talent.

  “His calm demeanor and maturity really stand out and will give him the opportunity to handle the rigors of college golf without affecting his game,” he said. “I expect him to have an outstanding career as a Spartan.”

   The son of Kuldip and Dana Deogun said his older brother Dylan started golf at age 12, and then he followed suit along with their father also getting involved in the game.

  “When we got serious and started working with Dave VanLoozen we developed into competitive players,” he said.

   Deogun will play one more summer of AJGA and GAM junior events as well as attempt more men’s tournaments.

  “I’m going to keep working at it,” he said. “This year gave me a lot of confidence that I can play the game at higher levels if I keep working. I’m really looking forward to college golf.”

ABOUT THE GAM: Founded in 1919, the Golf Association of Michigan is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. The GAM, served by over 250 dedicated volunteers as well as nine full-time staff, provides membership to almost 60,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 18 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at www.gam.org.

via Greg Johnson

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