Hawk Hollow hosts 111th Michigan Amateur Championship starting Monday – Press and Guide
Patrick Sullivan of Grosse Pointe has turned pro and will not return to defend in the 111th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland beginning Monday and continuing through Friday at Hawk Hollow Golf Course.
However, the former University of Michigan golfer offered some advice to the 156 starters who have been reduced from the 860 entrants in local qualifiers held across the state over the past two months.
“You have to make a match play and then you have to win six games, so it’s a lot of golf and every year I’ve played there was always at least two or three games that could have gone either way. , and until last year they didn’t all go my way,” he said. “You have to be patient in every way and know that you can play good golf and play better than everyone, but if in a match you don’t get the breaks, it’s difficult. You have to stay strong mentally. »
The mental and physical test includes stroke play Monday and Tuesday to determine the match-play field of 64, then Wednesday through Friday, two rounds of matches each day will produce a champion.
Ken Hartmann, director of competitions for the Golf Association of Michigan, which administers the state championship, believes more golfers than usual out of the 156 starters have a high chance of emerging as champions.
“The golf course may require more shots than some of our venues, and there’s not as much distance available, although the distance is pretty close to what we usually play,” he said. declared. “You have to keep the ball in play because there are problems there, and if you’re not careful he can jump up and get to you quickly. I think someone who can drive it straight and keep it in play has an advantage, and maybe that gets some of the guys with more experience fighting college golfers, like Nate Clark (DeWitt) and Mike Anderson (Northville), who won the GAM Mid-Am, or Ryan Johnson (Bloomfield Hills), one of our former amateur champions We are expecting a great championship on a great course and we will have a great champion at the end of it.
Anderson, the Detroit Catholic Central golf coach, and seven other golfers who did the famous “Sweet 16” a year ago at Cascade Hills Country Club, are back in the starting lineup. This includes finalist Tyler Rayman from Otsego, semi-finalist Colin Sikkenga from Kalamazoo, Coalter Smith from Grosse Pointe Farms, August Meekhof from Eastmanville, Charles DeLong from DeWitt, Will Anderson from Portage and Tyler Eedy from West Branch.
As for former champions like Johnson, 2015 champion Greg Davies (2006) of West Bloomfield, Doug Hoey (1991) of West Olive and three-time winner Steve Maddalena (1980, ’90 and ’95) of Jackson are also in the field.
Richland’s Max VanderMolen, the 2021 MAG 15-U Junior Men’s Player of the Year, is the youngest qualifier this year at 14 (the record is 13), and he leads a group of junior players who made the pitch, including 15-year-old Vibhav Alokam of Ypsilanti, Parker Stalcup of Lake Orion and Brian Tillman of Chelsea.
According to Hartmann and Terry Kildea, who work in marketing and promotions for the five-course collection at Eagle Eye Golf & Banquet Center near East Lansing, and also served the Golf Association of Michigan as a rules official for several years.
Kildea calls the par 3 holes the meat of the first golf course developed on the property.
“All four have a wide variety of hole locations, and hole distance and location can be a dividing point in scoring,” he said. “It’s a group of very good holes. You can birdie all of them and in a heartbeat you can double bogey all of them. I really feel like anyone who plays them even through the two rounds of move play will be in the top 10 or near the top 10 in match play.
The 27-hole facility designed by Jerry Matthews welcomes Amateur for the first time. The family business also hosted the 105th Michigan Amateur in 2016 at the Eagle Eye Golf Club, which is across the street.
The traditional park-style course was built in 1996 and runs through 500 acres of stands of trees, wetlands and ponds. It has been rated 4.5 stars out of 5 by Golf Digest and is on the magazine’s list of the 200 Best Places to Play.
GAM tournament staff will use the first 18 holes of the Hawk Hollow course, which can be played to a maximum of 6,974 yards with a course rating of 74.4 and a slope rating of 145. The course hosted a qualifier for the US Senior Open in recent years, as well as a GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur and Atlas Trophy matches.
“The design gives us some options for tee choices, and we’ll use a few of those to change things up in match play,” Hartmann said. “We don’t have to do much. It’s a challenge no matter where you play.