DEARBORN – TPC Michigan has hosted major championships featuring the likes of its designer Jack Nicklaus and legend Arnold Palmer, and for the second consecutive year will test the field of top junior boy golfers in the Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship starting Monday.
The 43rd edition of the Michigan Junior State Amateur features a field of 108 juniors (age 18-and-under) determined by past performance or via sectional qualifiers presented in recent weeks across the state.
TPC Michigan’s stunning Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, which opened in 1990, was built on land originally purchased by Henry Ford and then donated by Ford Motor Company. It is two miles from Ford World Headquarters and is operated by ClubCorp.
It was the world’s first course to receive the John James Audubon Environmental Steward Award for ecological restoration. The challenging links-style layout features rolling fairways, tiered greens typical of Nicklaus designs and natural wetlands with tee options ranging from 6,100 to 7,000 yards.
Golf legends played the course during the 16 years (1991-2006) when it hosted The Ford Senior Players Championship, one of five major championships on the PGA Tour Champions.
The course has also been an active member of the Golf Association of Michigan hosting several tournaments and GAM Golf Days over the years. Scott Massa is the assistant PGA professional and Kevin Brooks is the superintendent.
Those juniors playing in the overall division 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 starting Tuesday with 18 holes of stroke play.
In the overall division, first-round or round of 32 matches are Tuesday with second round and quarterfinals on Wednesday. Semifinal and championship match rounds for both age divisions are on Thursday.
Last year PJ Maybank III of Cheboygan, then 15, won what he called his biggest win so far by turning back Evan McDermott of Spring Lake 5 and 4 in the championship match.
Robert Burns of Grand Blanc was the other big winner on the day, winning the 15-and-under Division Championship with a 6-and-5 triumph over Vibhav Alokam of Ypsilanti in the final.
Maybank, who just played in the U.S. Junior Amateur and made it to match play, is defending and Burns is back, but this time playing with older golfers.
McDermott also returns, and GAM Junior Kickoff champion Drew Miller of East Lansing is in the field as well as Alokam, who won the GAM 14-and-under Match Play title earlier this week. He is playing in the 15-and-under division.
The list of champions in the history of the tournament is impressive and includes PGA Tour players Ryan Brehm and Joey Garber.