BELMONT – Ryan Johnson of the Golf Association of Michigan Team held off a late charge by Brad Dean of the Michigan Section PGA Team to secure the winning point and help the GAM retain the Fuller Cup Tuesday at Blythefield Country Club.
Johnson, the reigning Michigan Amateur champion from New Boston, topped Dean, the director of golf at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, 2 and 1, and the GAM won 9½ -8½ in the 44th version of the Fuller Cup Matches. The GAM built its second consecutive win with a 3½ – 2½ advantage in the six morning four-ball matches, and then each team won six of the afternoon singles matches in a relentless rain.
“It was a grind,” Johnson said of the afternoon singles. “I had a lead, but Brad came back. It was tough conditions and we just didn’t quit. We just made the best of it.”
The GAM won the Cup for the fifth time in the last nine years and seventh time since 2001. Prior to 2001 the PGA dominated the Ryder Cup-style competition and maintains a 34-9-1 advantage in the series.
The format has changed over the years, but the matches have always been presented to promote sportsmanship, friendship and great golf between the professionals and amateurs in the state. The GAM team is selected through the use of the GAM Honor Roll and the PGA selects its team via money list standing.
“It always seems like we play in bad weather,” Johnson said. “It seems like one year we should get good weather. That would make it really fun.”
Dan Ellis of East Lansing, the assistant golf coach at Michigan State University, and Jake Kneen of White Lake, an Oakland University golfer, each won singles matches and helped win four-ball morning matches to top scorers for the GAM Team.
Kyle Martin of the Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods and Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth won singles matches and helped win four-ball matches to pace the PGA team.
Cutter & Buck served as the clothing sponsor and outfitted both teams. The Michigan PGA’s tournament director, Justin Phillips, administered the competition with help from Ken Hartmann, the senior director of rules and competitions for the GAM.
Representing the GAM with Johnson, Ellis and Kneen were Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood, Reed Hrynewich of Muskegon and the University of Michigan golf team, Mitchell White of Muskegon and Grand Valley State’s team, Kory Roberts of Battle Creek, Steve McKalko of Troy, Otto Black of Pinckney, Leo Daigle of Wixom, Kyle Gaines of Oxford and the University of Detroit Mercy golf team, and John Quigley of St. Clair Shores.
Representing the PGA with Martin, Cairns and Dean were the father-son team of John Seltzer, the host professional at Blythefield, and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Seltzer of King Par Golf in Flushing, Michigan PGA Champion Dan Urban of Prestwick Village Golf Club in Hartland, Kevin Muir of The Wyndgate in Oakland Township, Frank McAuliffe of Meadowbrook Country Club, Scott Hebert of Traverse City Country Club, Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, Gary Lewandowski of St. Ives at Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes, and Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage in Cedar.
Find more information on the Golf Association of Michigan at www.gam.org.
Find more information on the Michigan PGA at www.michiganpgagolf.com .
RESULTS 44TH FULLER CUP MATCHES
Morning Four-Ball Matches –
- Tom Werkmeister, Jake Kneen (GAM) d. John Seltzer, Jack Seltzer 3 and 2
- Kyle Martin, Kevin Muir (PGA) d. Reed Hrynewich and Mitchell White 1-up
- Kory Roberts, Steve McKalko (GAM) d. Dan Urban and Frank McAuliffe 1-up
- Otto Black and Dan Ellis (GAM) d. Scott Hebert and Jim Deiters 2 and 1
- Ryan Johnson, Leo Daigle (GAM) and Brad Dean, Gary Lewandowski (PGA) finished all-square
- Brian Cairns, Lee Houtteman (PGA) d. Kyle Gaines, John Quigley 4 and 3.
GAM led 3½ – 2½
Afternoon Singles –
- John Seltzer (PGA) d. Werkmeister 3 and 2
- Kneen (GAM) d. Jack Seltzer 7 and 6
- Martin (PGA) d. Hrynewich 2 and 1
- White (GAM) d. Muir 3 and 2
- Urban (PGA) d. Roberts 2 and 1
- McKalko (GAM) and McAuliffe (PGA) all-square
- Hebert (PGA) d. Black 4 and 3
- Ellis (GAM) d. Deiters 2 and 1
- Johnson (GAM) d. Dean 2 and 1
- Leo Daigle (GAM) and Gary Lewandowski (PGA) all-square
- Cairns (PGA) d. Gaines 5 and 4
- Quigley (GAM) d. Houtteman 3 and 2.
GAM 6, PGA 6
Final GAM 9½ – PGA 8½
SOURCE: Greg Johnson