Hartland’s Beau Breault Returns, Wins 107th Michigan Amateur Championship

Beau Breault of Hartland turned back Anthony Sorentino of Shelby Township to
become the eighth golfer in 107 years to win the Michigan Amateur Championship
after being the runner-up the year prior.

  “I proved to myself
I could do it last year,” the Eastern Michigan University golfer said after his
4 and 3 final match win Friday at Country Club of Detroit garnered him the
Staghorn Trophy as the winner of the 107th Michigan Amateur Championship
presented by Carl’s Golfland.

  “Then this year I said, ‘you know let’s
just make it to match play and then anything can happen. Let’s get it done this

  Breault, who lost a year ago to Tom
Werkmeister of Grandville in the final match, went 4-up through a five-hole
stretch (Nos. 5 through 9) winning with two pars and two birdies against
Sorentino in the final. Then he matched him in scores over the next six holes
to put it away.

  “Beau played
fantastic,” said Sorentino, a 40-year-old attorney who has won three GAM
Mid-Amateur Championships and made a splash in golf as one of the golfers on
the first reality show presentation of The Big Break by the Golf Channel in

  “I know he was under
par and I was a couple over, but he really just beat me senseless. I was
hanging in there and hanging in there, but I couldn’t get anything going against
him. He hit it great all day. He hits it really long and has two, three clubs
less going into every green and that’s a big advantage. He’s a great player.”

   Breault used a fast start in the morning
semifinal and beat Hope College golfer Josh Gibson of Grandville 5 and 4, and
Sorentino rallied from behind and slipped past Georgia Tech golfer Ben Smith of
Novi 1-up in the other semifinal.

   “It still hasn’t
really hit me yet that I won,” Breault said. “I was laser-focused all day. I
didn’t think about anything about after the tournament because I didn’t want to
get ahead of myself. I just tried to stay focused, hit smart shots and stay in
the moment. And now it is finally starting to hit me. I just won. This is

   Breault said he made an equipment change a few
weeks ago and it has helped him, and he thanked his childhood friend, high
school golf teammate and caddie Baker Stevenson.

  “I’m hitting my
driver really well,” he said. “I switched shafts trying to get a lower more
controlled ball flight. I hit a lot of fairways this week. Baker and I picked
out a lot of good targets. It kind of made it easy because there are a bunch of
fairway bunkers that are 270 to 290 (yards), which when I hit it well, I can
carry. It made the fairways a little bit wider. So when I hit driver well it
set up the rest of the shots. I hit a lot of wedges and my putter was rolling
it well, too.”

  Breault will be a
senior in the fall at Eastern, and he plans to try and qualify for the U.S.
Amateur this summer.

  “This win means a
lot of exemptions,” he said. “I don’t have to quality for a lot of stuff now,
which is nice. It means the Tournament of Champions and mostly a lot of
confidence. I just proved to myself when I stay focused, play smart and play my
game I’m hard to beat. It’s a really good feeling knowing that, and that all the
hard worked paid off.”

   Breault was the first
runner-up to return and win since 2007 when PGA Tour player Ryan Brehm pulled
it off as an amateur. The very first runner-up in 1906, Phillip Stanton of
Grand Rapids did it in 1907. The others include David Ward of Big Rapids in
1926, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Bob Babbish of Detroit in 1935, Mike
Andonian of Pontiac in 1962, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Randy Erskine of
Battle Creek in 1972, and five-time Michigan Amateur champion and Hall of Fame
member Pete Green of Franklin in 1986.

-Greg Johnson, [email protected]