GRAND RAPIDS – The Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) team started hot on a cool morning winning five of the six four-ball matches and rolled on through singles in the afternoon to win the 48th Fuller Cup Matches 13-5 Thursday at Cascade Hills Country Club.
Last year’s GAM Player of the Year Dan Ellis of East Lansing, Austin Kreger of Harrison Township, Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, Steve Nichols of East Lansing, James Piot of Canton and Grant Haefner of Bloomfield Hills each helped account for two points for the GAM by helping their partners win in four-ball and by winning their singles matches.
Top amateur golfers representing the GAM and top PGA professionals representing the Michigan Section of the PGA squared off in a Ryder Cup-like format with six four-ball matches and 12 singles matches. The annual competition was originally scheduled for May 5, but rescheduled due to pandemic restrictions. Linksoul was the clothing sponsor outfitting both teams.
Fox Hills Learning Center professional Brian Cairns, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, and his partner Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills were the only PGA duo to win in the morning four-ball matches.
Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club started the afternoon singles for the PGA with a 1-up win over Michael Coriasso of White Lake, but the GAM team won four and tied two of the next five matches for five points to secure the victory.
The GAM team won for the third consecutive year and seventh time in the last 11 years but trails the PGA 34-12-2 in the series that started in 1971.
The format has changed over the years, but the matches are presented to promote sportsmanship, friendship and quality golf among professionals and amateurs. The matches are named for the late Ernest Fuller, a Michigan golf course developer. The GAM team is selected through the use of the GAM Honor Roll and availability and the PGA selects its team via money list standing and availability.
Cascade Hills Country Club, which in 2021 will host the 110th Michigan Amateur Championship as part of its centennial year, hosted the Fuller Cup Matches for the first time.
Representing the GAM were Cascade Hills member Chip Anderson of Grand Rapids, Brad Bastion of Shelby Township, Coriasso, Ellis, Nick Gunthorpe of East Lansing, Haefner, Kreger, Nichols, Piot, Smithson, Anthony Sorentino of Rochester Hills, and Andrew Walker of Battle Creek.
Representing the PGA were Cairns, Fryer, Joe Hatch of US Golf Cars Inc., Cody Haughton of Red Run Golf Club, Lee Houtteman of Glen Arbor, Adrian Jolliffe, the host head professional from Cascade Hills Country Club, Frank McAuliffe of Meadowbrook Country Club, Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club, Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands Resort, Adam Schumacher of Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club, Urban and Kyle Wittenbach, golf coach at Ferris State University.
RESULTS 48th Fuller Cup Matches
Morning Session Four-Ball
8:30 a.m.: Michael Coriasso/Dan Ellis (GAM) def. Dan Urban/Lee Houtteman (PGA) 3-2
8:40 a.m.: Austin Kreger/Nick Gunthorpe (GAM) def. Adrian Jolliffe/Adam Schumacher (PGA) 7-6
8:50 a.m.: Andrew Walker/Bradley Smithson (GAM) def. Kyle Wittenbach/Joe Hatch (PGA) 3-2
9:00 a.m.: Steve Nichols/Chip Anderson (GAM) def. Frank McAuliffe/Cody Haughton (PGA) 3-2
9:10 a.m.: James Piot/Grant Haefner (GAM) def. Jeff Roth/Tim Pearce (PGA) 2-1
9:20 a.m.: Brian Cairns/Josh Fryer (PGA) def. Anthony Sorentino/Brad Bastion (GAM) 5-4
Afternoon Session Singles
1:30 p.m.: Dan Urban (PGA) def. Michael Coriasso (GAM) 1-up
1:30 p.m.: Dan Ellis (GAM) def. Lee Houtteman (PGA) 5-4
1:40 p.m.: Austin Kreger (GAM) def. Adrian Jolliffe (PGA) 4-3
1:40 p.m.: Nick Gunthorpe (GAM) TIED Adam Schumacher (PGA)
1:50 p.m.: Andrew Walker (GAM) TIED Kyle Wittenbach (PGA)
1:50 p.m.: Bradley Smithson (GAM) def. Joe Hatch (PGA) 7-5
2:00 p.m.: Steve Nichols (GAM) def. Frank McAuliffe (PGA) 4-3
2:00 p.m.: Cody Haughton (PGA) def. Chip Anderson (GAM) 3-2
2:10 p.m.: James Piot (GAM) def. Jeff Roth (PGA) 6-5
2:10 p.m. Grant Haefner (GAM) def. Tim Pearce (PGA) 2-1
2:20 p.m.: Brian Cairns (PGA) def. Anthony Sorentino (GAM) 2-up
2:20 p.m.: Brad Bastion (GAM) def. Josh Fryer (PGA) 2-1
The winning GAM Team photo: Front row, from left, Bradley Smithson, Chip Anderson, Nick Gunthorpe, Brad Bastion, Austin Kreger and Anthony Sorentino. Back, from left, Steve Nichols, Andrew Walker, Grant Haefner, James Piot, Dan Ellis, and Michael Coriasso.