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GOLF ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

112TH MICHIGAN AMATEUR: EMU’s Patrick Deardorff Sets First Round Pace

Written By: Greg Johnson

BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Patrick Deardorff of Clarkston, the runner-up a year ago, topped the leaderboard through the first round of the 112th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Tuesday.

The senior-to-be at Eastern Michigan University shot a 3-under 67 on a hard and fast North Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, just in front of Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe Woods, a University of Wisconsin golfer, who shot 68.

“I view last year as a success and I know what it takes to get myself to that spot again,” said Deardorff, who fell to Nick Krueger of Spring Lake and Grand Valley State University in 19 holes in last year’s title match. “So, we’re just looking to keep our head down, not get too far out in front of anything. It’s a long week, but we worked hard all year and we will see how it goes.”

Smith, a semifinalist in 2019 when the Michigan Amateur was last hosted by Oakland Hills, said he did a good job of keeping a difficult course in front of him.

“The greens are super-firm and super-fast,” he said. “I hit a lot of greens, which really helps because with the greens are so fast and it is hard to get up and down.”

Charles DeLong of DeWitt, another Grand Valley State golfer who tied for second in last week’s Hall Financial Michigan Open at Oakland University, was part of the group two shots off the pace at 69.

Also at 69 were Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids and Michigan State University, Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills, a part-time caddie at Oakland Hills who is headed to Michigan State in the fall, and Colin O’Rourke of Troy, a University of Dayton golfer.

The group at even-par 70 included August Meekhof of Eastmanville and Michigan State, who was a semifinalist a year ago, Colin Sikkenga of Kalamazoo and Oakland University, Ieaun Jones of Ann Arbor Skyline High School and Anthony Comito of Macomb and Oakland University.

Krueger started defense of his championship with a 71 to open.

The low 64 scorers following Wednesday’s second round of stroke play will fill out the match play bracket. Two rounds of match play Thursday, Friday and Saturday will determine the champion.

Deardorff made the cut in last week’s Michigan Open despite making a few technical errors.

“It was nothing crazy,” he said. “My putter has been good, not great. I was pretty much steady Eddie out there with a lot of good iron shots, and then on the back night the putter got hot a little bit.”

He was 1-over through 11 holes, but birdied Nos. 12, 13, 16 and 18 coming in.

“It was nice to see the putter coming around,” he said. “These greens are already wicked fast.”

Smith, who now works on his game with Oakland Hills Head PGA Golf Professional Steve Brady, played the back nine first, had four birdies in his first 12 holes played and was 4-under. He bogeyed No. 5 and 6 coming in.

“I made a few mistakes coming in, but overall I was solid,” he said. “I would like to be medalist, but at the end of the day I just want to be in match play and play well through the rest of the week and make it as far as I can.”

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