The 2015 Michigan Amateur’s final four is set: Austin Jenner, Ryan Johnson, Bret Quitiquit and Korey Roberts. Jenner and Johnson will tee off at 8 a.m at . The match between Quitiquit and Roberts is set for 8:15. The winners will meet for the final match Friday afternoon.
The 104th Michigan Amateur Championship is presented by Miles of Golf/Kendall Academy/Titleist and is held at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield. As host of the 1947 PGA Championship, Plum Hollow is a part of Michigan’s proud history of Major golf championships.
Austin Jenner, a 17-year-old from West Branch defeated defending champion Henry Do 2-up to advance to the final four. Ryan Johnson of New Boston knocked off Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood 3 and 1. Bret Quitiquit of Highland took down one of the pre-tournament favorites in Otto Black of Pinckney 2 and 1. Kory Roberts of Battle Creek topped veteran standout Steve McKalko of Troy 1-up.
Jenner has had perhaps a surprising run through the match play portion of the tournament, defeating not only Do, but also qualifying medalist Reed Hrynewich of Muskegon.
Jenner said he was excited and a little intimidated playing Do: “He made back-to-back birdies on 7 and 8 and I was feeling intimidated, but I got back in the lead and played probably one of my best rounds in a long time. I kept it together, stayed in the process and played really well.”
Johnson, a 30-year-old club fitter for Carl’s Golfland in the Detroit area, shot 78 in the first round of stroke play qualifying Monday and came into the event after missing the cut in the Michigan Open.
“I started thinking I was in a slump, but on Tuesday I played better and something clicked,” he said. “Beating Tom is huge because of his track record. It was a great match and I played great. I had a putt for 29 on the front, and I got to 5-up through 10, but Tom came back. It was a good, competitive match. I loved it.”
Quitiquit, the 26-year-old assistant golf coach at Siena Heights University, felt like his win over Black was an upset, and he was happy he survived in 19 holes against Tiffin University golfer Brett Green in the round of 16.
“Otto is such a great player with everything he is done,” he said. “He just made a couple of mistakes and I was able to take advantage. You have to take advantage of any mistakes a player like that makes. It’s a big win for me and I’m feeling the long day right now. I’ve had tough matches.”
Roberts, a 22-year-old Northwood University golfer, called his match with McKalko nerve-racking. He hit a 30-foot putt with 15 feet of break in it on 18 to inches for a conceded par, and then McKalko missed a five-foot par-saver putt and lost the hole and match.
“He is a great player and he was getting up and down from everywhere while I was hitting great shots and not making anything,” said Roberts, who also slipped past Eastern Michigan University golfer Kyle Rodes of Plymouth 1-up in the round of 16. “Crazy match, but a big win for me because I came here just wanting to play well and get in match play and keep playing well. I didn’t expect to get to the final four. It was a strange day. I made every putt this morning, and I think I used them all up. That last putt. I just told myself ‘one more good putt’ and I got it.”
Round of 16
- Jenner d. Pahl 5 and 3
- Do d. Varekois 2 and 1
- Werkmeister d. White 6 and 5
- Johnson d. Gaines 4 and 3
- Black d. Ruffino 19 holes
- Quitiquit d. Green 19 holes
- McKalko d. Polulak 6 and 5
- Roberts d. Rodes 4 and 3.
Round of 8
- Jenner d. Do 1-up
- Johnson d. Werkmeister 3 and 1
- Quitiquit d. Black 2 and 1
- Roberts d. McKalko 1-up.
The match play bracket can be found at www.gam.org.
As with all GAM tournaments, spectators are welcome and admission is free. Live scoring is also 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.