Plum Hollow To Host 40th Michigan Junior Amateur
Classic Plum Hollow Country Club Hosting 40th Michigan Junior State Amateur
SOUTHFIELD – Plum Hollow Country Club, a classic course created by the legendary English design team of Colt & Alison, will host the 40th Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship presented by Pepsi Monday through Thursday.
The Michigan Junior State Amateur features the top 84 top junior boy golfers in the state as determined by past performance or via sectional qualifiers presented earlier this summer across the state.
Plum Hollow, which hosted the 2015 Michigan Amateur, has a rich history that includes being the site of the 1947 PGA Championship and the 1957 Western Open.
The club was founded in 1921, and features rolling hills, surprising elevation changes and five par 3 holes that impact scoring with demanding shots and small, undulating greens. The five par 5 holes offer a few more birdie chances.
Jim Ferrier won the 1947 PGA at Plum Hollow by defeating Michigan golf legend Chick Harbert in the then match play finals. Also in that tournament legend Ben Hogan lost to Toney Penna, and legend Gene Sarazen fell to Harbert after beating Sam Snead.
It was 10 years later in 1957 that Plum Hollow hosted the Western Golf Association’s Western Open, which was considered a “major” championship in that era. Golf Hall of Famer Doug Ford won that one with a 279 72-hole total. George Bayer, Gene Littler and Billy Maxwell were among the other contenders.
H.S. Colt and C. H. Alison formed a formidable golf architecture firm in London in the 1900s and partnered for four years with Alister Mackenzie. Plum Hollow is one of over 300 golf courses they are credited with designing or redesigning in the United Kingdom and the United States. Golf course architecture historians point out that Colt was known for starting projects with picking spots for the par 3s and as a result they are often especially strong parts of the Colt & Alison courses.
The course is sure to test the field of boys in the field who are age 18-and-under and have not yet attended college. The field will play 36 holes of stroke play Monday to determine a medalist and top seed to lead the low scoring 32 golfers into the match play bracket.
First-round or round of 32 matches are Tuesday with second round and quarterfinals on Wednesday and semifinal matches and the championship match on Thursday.
Defending champion Ben Smith of Novi has moved on to Georgia Tech and is not in the field, but last year’s stroke play medalist and the GAM Junior Boys Player of the Year Patrick Sullivan of Grosse Pointe returns.
Colin Sikkenga of Kalamazoo, who just last week reached the round of 32 in the U.S. Amateur at Baltusrol in New Jersey, is in the field, as is Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, who was a semifinalist in this championship two years ago. Max VanderMolen of Richland, who is 10, will be the youngest player in the field having qualified recently at Sunnybrook Country Club near Grand Rapids.
The list of champions in the history of the tournament is impressive and includes tour players Ryan Brehm, Joey Garber, Michael Harris and Jeff Roth.
Last year Smith won his second consecutive title with a 2 and 1 win over Eric Nunn of DeWitt in the final match at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath. He was the first back-to-back winner since the format changed to a match play conclusion in 2000.
More information on the championship, including daily results, can be found at gam.org under the championships tab. More information on Plum Hollow can be found atplumhollowcc.com. Mike Bageris is the general manager, John Jawor the head golf professional and John Sabat the superintendent.
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, provides membership to more than 55,000 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 gam.org.