Link to championship page: Junior Am
BATTLE CREEK – Bedford Valley Golf Course is where champions are determined.
The classic William Mitchell design that opened in 1965 has been the home to multiple championships for multiple associations and starting Monday hosts the 41st Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship presented by Pepsi.
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.
Bedford Valley is part of the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort’s collection of golf courses. Gull Lake View is one of the largest family owned resorts in the U.S., and the Scott family has impacted golf since 1963 when Darl Scott, an entrepreneur at heart and golf course superintendent by trade, decided to build and open his own public golf course. He and his wife Letha ran the course, and Charlie, one of three sons, next directed the family golf business. Jon Scott, a son of Charlie, now heads the family business with several members involved.
Bedford Valley, a traditional parkland design, was purchased by the family in 1988. It is not on the Gull Lake resort campus in Augusta, Mich., but a few miles away in Battle Creek. It cuts naturally through the trees on rolling hills with classic green settings.
It is also perceived by many as a perfect place to decide championships. Bedford Valley has hosted over many years the Michigan Open, Michigan Senior Open, Michigan Maxfli PGA Junior Championship, Michigan Publinx State Match Play, and the NCAA III National Championship, as well as GAM events and qualifiers.
It features classic natural green settings, large bunkers and oak tree-lined fairways.
It will test the field of boy golfers who are age 18-and-under and have not yet attended college. They 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. A 15-and-under division is also being presented. First-round or round of 32 matches for the championship are Tuesday with second round and quarterfinals on Wednesday and semifinal matches and the championship match on Thursday.
Grosse Pointe’s Patrick Sullivan, last year’s champion, has moved on to the University of Michigan golf team, and earlier this summer was runner-up to Ben Smith of Novi in the Michigan Amateur Championship at Oakland Hills. Last year at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield, Sullivan outlasted Spring Lake’s Nick Krueger in 19 holes and won the 40th edition of the junior state championship.
Krueger, who is headed to Grand Valley State University’s golf team after graduating from Spring Lake High School this spring, is returning to the field this year.
Other notables in the field are this summer’s GAM Junior Stroke Play winner PJ Maybank III of Cheboygan, August Meekhof of Allendale, who recently played in the U.S. Junior championship at Inverness, and Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe, a semifinalist earlier this summer in the Michigan Amateur.
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.
More information on the championship, including daily results, can be found at gam.org under the championships tab. More information on Bedford Valley can be found at gulllakeview.com. Dean Kolstad is the golf professional and Bill Walters is the superintendent.