Andrew Lang of Grosse Ile Repeats at Michigan Net Amateur Championship

SOUTH LYON – It took a three-hole aggregate net score playoff but Andrew Lang of Grosse Ile repeated as champion of the Michigan Net Amateur Championship in the 22nd edition of the tournament, which was presented by Michigan Golf Live at Tanglewood Golf Club Tuesday.

Lang, a Golf Galaxy club refinisher, salesman and fitter, shot a net 70 with three strokes of handicap and ended up tied with Dennis Guerriero of Lexington, S.C., a summer GAM member who shot a net 70 with 16 strokes of handicap. The duo, who had matching net 66s in the first round, then played the three-hole playoff on the first three holes of the North nine. Lang emerged as champion.

“It feels unbelievable to win back-to-back,” Lang said. “It’s so hard to win. Playing net tournaments as a low-handicap player is tough. I had a five-shot lead, and Dennis just came back strong on the back nine and had a one-shot lead going into the last hole. He made a seven and I made five, we ended up tied and we went to a playoff.”

Lang said he had been faltering on the back nine, so he refocused and called upon the high level of play that he demonstrated earlier in the day.

“Dennis and I are about 100 yards apart on our drives so knew that North one, two and three were going to be advantageous to me if I just played clean and made pars,” he said. “I pulled it off.” Lang added that a gift of extra long Cobra tees from his co-worker Matt this week, gave him some extra support off the tee.

The win was the third in GAM net events in the last two years for Lang.

“I play a lot of net golf in general,” he said. “I run a Monday night golf league where I give up 9 to 10 shots per nine to guys and I still do pretty well. So I’m used to playing that kind of competition. It’s a different animal out there because you have a wide variety of players and the pace and rhythms are different than just playing with other low handicappers.”

Tuesday’s celebration of his victory wasn’t the first time Lang has celebrated at Tanglewood.

“So when I was 16 years old, I played in a PowerBilt Junior Tour event here and I’m on the second hole on the West,” he said. “It was 185 yards and I was kind of into the sun and I hit the shot. My dad was there behind the green. It was incredible. I hit the shot. I couldn’t really see it. But it went in the hole I got a hole-in-one. And I have not been back to this golf course since that day. So it has been 21 years since I played that round. And to come here and win and do really well. It’s just, it’s unbelievable.”

A field of 78 golfers played in the net state championship, which is part of the GAM’s annual effort to serve golfers beyond the elite level.

Frank Firek of Royal Oak shot a net 72 for 140, four shots out of the playoff to finish in third place. Chad Wilson of Midland was net with a closing net 73 for 142.

Lang will play without strokes Wednesday and Thursday in the GAM Mid-Amateur Championship at The Highlands in Harbor Springs. It is a gross scoring championship featuring over 200 players.

-Greg Johnson, [email protected]

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