GRAND RAPIDS – Patrick Sullivan’s friends from Grosse Pointe, teammates from the University of Michigan and his father Tom watched him put an end to the rain-interrupted seven-day Michigan Amateur Championship that seemingly would never end.
“It was awesome,” he said of his father coming from another tournament where a younger brother was playing. “Obviously he got me started with this and he’s the one who taught me how much the Michigan Amateur means, and just to be able to hold that trophy is pretty incredible.”
Sullivan won the 110th Michigan Amateur Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Monday, turning back Eastern Michigan University golfer Tyler Rayman of Otsego 2 and 1 in the championship match at Cascade Hills Country Club. He will have his name added to the prestigious Staghorn Trophy two years after he lost in the championship match to Ben Smith of Novi.
“Getting to the finals is an accomplishment in itself, and you don’t really know if you’re going to be back in that situation,” he said. “I was lucky enough two years later and I knew I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes I did then.”
Rayman, past the Sweet 16 for the first time, led 1-up early in the match and also through nine holes, but Sullivan birdied No. 10 to tie the score and then made consecutive birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 to move in front to stay.
“Tyler was very tough,” Sullivan said. “I just kept making birdies the guys told me. To be completely honest I had no idea. I was just playing to what he was doing. Yeah, luckily some putts fell and they needed to fall. For a while I was trailing and it was just one of those matches where if you get to three down, you’re probably not going to get back in it because we were both playing so well.”
Rayman called it a great match.
“I played solid on the front and on the back really,” he said. “Patrick just got hot. He’s an amazing player. There were a lot of birdies and he deserves to come out on top because he played a great round of golf.”
Sullivan said the Amateur title was a goal of his since winning the Michigan Junior Boys State Amateur.
“I kind of wanted this to top it off,” he said. “If I end up playing professionally , which I hope to do, this is one of those that you want to have with your name on the trophy.”
He said it was a long week and the course was completely different from his practice round eight days ago.
“It was firm and fast and ready for a championship and then all of a sudden six inches of rain,” he said. “It didn’t play to its ultimate potential but it was still and great test and we all played the same conditions.”
Rayman said his ultimate goal was to win, but he was proud of his performance.
“We’re going to leave a little empty handed, but we gave it a great effort,” he said. “The staff here at Cascade Hills was great, the GAM, everybody has been unbelievable. The fact that we were able to play a championship match is unbelievable with the weather we’ve had. I just want to thank Cascade Hills, the GAM, the volunteers, everybody for making it an awesome week.”