Henry Do of Canton says that winning the 103rd Michigan Amateur was the highlight of his young golf career.
And why shouldn’t it be? Last year on the 18th, and needing a birdie to tie, the twenty-year-old hit a dramatic 7-iron from 180 to tap-in range. Do then topped Troy’s Steve Anderson in a sudden death playoff.
“I still have dreams about hitting that last shot at 18 to a foot,” he said.
The 7-iron shot came after dramatic long birdie putts at Nos. 16 and 17 by Anderson that put Do in position at the 18th.
“That was exciting, definitely memorable and I would love to do it all again,” Do said. “That would be awesome.”
Do leads a field of 162 golfers into the 104th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Miles of Golf/Kendall Academy/Titleist at Plum Hollow Country Club Monday. Two rounds of stroke play will determine a 64-golfer field for match play and six rounds of matches through Friday will determine the 2015 champion.
The competition against the state’s best players of all ages in the Michigan Amateur is one of the many things that make the tournament exciting Do said. Anderson, a commercial real-estate lender and last year’s runner-up, was 41 at the time.
Anderson is returning this year, as are past champions like Andrew Chapman of Traverse City (2013), Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood (2009) and Greg Davies of West Bloomfield (2006), who recently went in the Hall of Fame with Kendall.
Also in the field are last year’s GAM champion Ryan Johnson of New Boston, Nathan Clark of Charlotte, Brad Bastion of Shelby Township, Casey Baker of Novi and other top GAM Honor Roll players like Otto Black of Pinckney, Reed Hrynewich of Muskegon, Patrick Colburn of Traverse City, John Quigley of St. Clair Shores and James Piot and Donnie Trosper of Canton.
Of the Sweet 16 from last year, 14 are back in the field, including Do, Anderson, Baker, Werkmeister, Johnson, Black, Davies, Ian Martin of Saline, Steve McKalko of Howell, Francesco Ruffino of Bloomfield Hills, Kyle Gaines of Oxford, Chris Cunningham of Milford, Ken Hudson of Bloomfield Hills and Jack Rider of Vicksburg.
“I played Plum Hollow last year in the U.S. Amateur qualifier and it should be perfect for match play,” Do said. “It is one of those courses where you have to put the ball in good position off the tee and in the fairway to score well. There are some great risk holes, like 18 where you have to decide how aggressive you want to be. That will be an exciting finishing hole.”
Plum Hollow is a classic course that hosted the 1947 PGA Championship and the 1957 Western Open. Sam Snead famously made a ten on Plum Hollow’s par 4 fourth. It is hosting the state championship for the first time. Par has been adjusted for the week by the Golf Association of Michigan tournament staff to 70 from 72 because the shorter dogleg par 5 holes 1 and 18 will be played as par 4s.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Do said. “Match play is so exciting, like March Madness for golf, only you are rooting for yourself and not a team.”
As with all GAM tournaments, spectators are welcome and admission is free. Live scoring links will be available at www.gam.org, where you can find daily tournament coverage and photo galleries. Also, friend and follow the GAM on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT THE GAM: The Golf Association of Michigan, founded in 1919, is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to represent, promote, preserve, and serve the best interests of the game. The association provides membership to more than 60,000 golfers and more than 400 golf courses, conducts 29 amateur championships with more than 70 days of qualifying and competition for golfers of all abilities, and oversees 18 USGA qualifying events each year. The GAM also hosts several one-day golf events called GAM Golf Days that allow GAM members to play in a less-competitive setting than a traditional tournament, and also conducts a popular state championship scramble event and sends teams to state and international match play events. In addition, the GAM is licensed by the United States Golf Association to measure and rate golf courses in the state of Michigan in accordance with the USGA Course Rating System. The GAM enables its members to post scores and establish an official GAM/USGA handicap index. Visit www.gam.org for more information.