Challenging first day at the Michigan Amateur for our local golfers

Local Sports

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WLNS) – To say the 156-player field of the 110th Michigan Amateur Championship is a competitive one is an understatement of Grand Canyon proportions. The 156 players qualified through a field that saw the Golf Association of Michigan receive 875 entrants for this year’s tournament. Cascade Hills Country Club is the opponent for our local golfers this year and the 70-par course was proving difficult for a lot of players early on in the round.

Michigan State freshman golfer August Meekhof was paired up with Grand Valley State sophomore golfer and DeWitt high school alumnus Charles Delong. Meekhof was able to stay steady at par through the first few holes but had three bogeys later in the round and finished at +3 and tied for 30th place.

Delong started his round with a bogey on the par-5 10th hole and then recorded another bogey on the par-3 17th. But he would refocus around the turn and birdied holes seven and eight to end the day at an even-par 70 and tied for 10th.

Fellow Grand Valley State golfer Alexander Jordan who’s a Mason high school alum, also started his day with a bogey on the par-5 10th but he would follow that up with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole. It was a seesaw day for the former Bulldog who ended his round at +4 and tied for 42nd place.

Michigan State senior golfer James Piot, who finished in second place in the 2020 Michigan Amateur, had an ugly front nine holes and was +4 at the turn. Piot put the pressure on himself to regroup and would go on to birdie holes 12 and 13 and finished at +2 and tied for 20th place.

MSU men’s golf assistant coach, Dan Ellis, had an interesting stretch between holes nine and 14. He bogeyed nine, ten, and eleven but then birdied holes 12, 13,14 and finished +1 and tied for 16th.

Last but not least, MSU sophomore golfer Bradley Smithson, was coming off winning the Michigan Open last week but didn’t qualify in the qualifying events for the Michigan Amateur. On Monday night at 8:30 p.m., he was notified by the Michigan Amateur organizers that a player withdrew from the tournament and if he wanted the spot it was his. So after coming off his Michigan Open win, we had to know if he was jumping for joy to get back out on the course.

“Yeah, especially cause going into last week I wasn’t playing that good and then all of the sudden everything kind of clicked and everything was really good last week,” said Smithson. “So to get the vall and know that I’m playing in the hometown, which is nice, so yeah it was really good to know that I got in especially after missing it twice trying to qualify.”

Smithson was trading birdies for bogeys throughout his round and finished at an even-par. After their round ended we caught up with August Meekhof and Charles Delong to see what they thought of their first rounds.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Meekhof. “It made the course a lot harder the last two days which is nice it fastened up the greens a lot and then it got a little windy. I played here two days ago so it was a little easier than it is now so it’s good to see.”

“Well the Michigan Am (Amateur) is always my favorite event of the summer,” said Delong. “It’s the one I would most wanna win so just being out here grinding, competitive golf is always really fun. Did sort of what I needed to go give myself a chance, take it low tomorrow.”

Our 6 Sports team will have continued coverage of the 110th Michigan Amateur Championship the entire tournament.

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