Last Player In Still Standing Among “Sweet 16” at 2022 Michigan Amateur
BATH – Despite a rain delay morning two rounds of matches are complete and the “Sweet 16” moves on to two more rounds of matches Thursday in the 111th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Hawk Hollow Golf Club.
Victory was sweet twice for Mike Anderson of Northville, the 52-year-old 2020 GAM Mid-Amateur champion who survived a seven-player playoff on Tuesday night for the last spot in the match play bracket of 64 Wednesday. His reward: A morning match with No. 1 seed and co-medalist Charles DeLong of DeWitt, the Grand Valley University standout who has regularly played Hawk Hollow for years.
Anderson, an investments director and high school golf coach at Detroit Catholic Central, is in the round of 16 for a second consecutive year. He turned back DeLong, 4 and 3, and then had to fight off 15-year-old Connor Fox of Lake Orion for a 2 and 1 win.
“You know, I played two really good players today and I just played so well,” said Anderson who won three holes with birdies on the front nine and then birdied No. 10 and won No. 11 with a par for a 4-up lead against DeLong.
“I haven’t been playing great coming into this event but everything kind of started last night in the playoff. In the playoff I hit all good shots and I just kept the momentum into today and played really solid all day.
“Having an opportunity to play against Charlie – he’s such a talented young man – is fun for me being my age. Playing against the young really good players to see how my game stacks up from time to time is fun, and he just caught me on a really good day. I’m still a little surprised how well I played pretty much all day long.”
Mike Wenglikowski of Saginaw is in the Sweet 16 for the second time, and 20 years after the first time. In fact, this is the first time the 41-year-old manager of Garber Chevrolet has played in the Amateur in 20 years.
He toppled veteran players Andrew Smith of Oakland Township and Mike Coriasso of Royal Oak by identical 4 and 3 scores Wednesday.
“I hit some good shots and made some birdies and got a couple of breaks when they hit some, you know, not-so-good shots at the right time for me,” he said. “I played one ball all day and never lost it.”
Wenglikowski said he hasn’t played much in the last 20 years because of career, marriage and a daughter, but he’s back playing and practicing.
“My daughter’s 10 (Brynn) so we can go hits balls together and my wife (Rachelle) even played a little bit last year, which she didn’t for a long time,” he said.
Wenglikowski said he doesn’t really have a game plan for the tournament going forward.
“I never got past this,” he said. “I just thought it would be really cool to get another (Sweet 16) 20 years after the first one. It’s just kind of gravy at this point.”
John Quigley of Sterling Heights, 38, is in another Sweet 16, but it took 19 holes to turn back one of the tournament favorites, Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe Farms and the University of Wisconsin, in the round of 32.
“We all know how good he is and I wanted to play good and try and hang around,” said an emotional Quigley who topped Nick Pumford of Troy 1-up in the morning round of 64. “(Coalter) played well. I played well. I’m struggling (emotionally) with this one in particular. I really asked myself to call on something and it all came.”
In addition to the experienced trio making the Sweet 16, one of the co-medalists and college players, Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids and Michigan State University, the No. 2 seed, is still playing.
He topped Mitchell Strickland of Ann Arbor 3 and 2 in the first round, and then had to play his MSU teammate and roommate Pierce Morrissey of Canadian Lakes in the round of 32. He won that won 3 and 1.
“He’s probably my best friend at school so it was tough with all of us here,” he said of the four Spartans in the starting field. “I kind of thought at some point we’re going to have to play, but I so wish it was a little later in the tournament.”
Last summer’s Michigan Open champion, Smithson, who is still recovering from a recent bout with food poisoning, said he is feeling better.
“The more sleep I get the better I feel,” he said.
Round of 16 matches will start at 8 a.m. with the quarterfinals slated for the afternoon. The semifinals and final match are Friday.
2022 Michigan Amateur Brackets
Mike Anderson, Northville, 52, investments director Stifel Co.
Patrick Deardorff, Clarkston, 21, Eastern Michigan University golfer
Mike Wenglikowski, Saginaw, 41, General Manager at Garber Chevrolet
Matthew Zerbel, St. Joseph, 27, Dispatcher at logistics company
Colin Sikkenga, Kalamazoo, 22, Oakland University golfer
Bryan Haase, Interlochen, 38, works in insurance
David Szymanski, Grosse Pointe Park, 25, recent law student graduate
Evan McDermott, Spring Lake, 18, incoming University of Nebraska golfer
Bradley Smithson, Grand Rapids, 21, Michigan State University golfer
Justin Sui, Lake Orion, 17, University of Florida student
John Quigley, Sterling Heights, 38, Director at Emergent Holdings
August Meekhof, Eastmanville, 20, Michigan State University golfer
Erik Fahlen, Rockford, 21, Taylor University golfer
Tyler Eedy, West Branch, 21, planning to transfer to University of Nebraska-Omaha
Owen Tucci, Macomb, 22, Recent graduate from Oakland University
Nick Krueger, Spring Lake, 21, Grand Valley State University golfer
MATCH PLAY BRACKET, RESULTS: Visit GAM.org