Michigan Amateur Championship Round One Quote Sheet

102nd Michigan Amateur Championship at Muskegon Country Club


Justin Pahl, 17, White Lake, shot  1-under-par 71

He was an alternate in qualifying. This is his first Michigan Amateur. His most recent win was a high school tournament – Huron Valley Invitational. His mother Karen was his caddie for the first time ever. His father Dave would have carried the bag, but he was traveling for business and is not expected at the tournament until Wednesday.

“It was pretty steady. I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, but it was my putting that really helped me out. I had 27 putts today, so I was really feeling the greens.”

“I mean the greens are what is going to get you here. There are some scary pin positions they can have, and there are some big breakers you have to play. And the downhill putts, you just have to touch them and hope they don’t roll too far past.”

“It was fun. It’s an awesome golf course, and they treat you really well here. My mom did a great job. She always had the right club ready for me.”

Mark Foster, 22, Davison, shot 1-under-par 71

He is a senior-to-be at Oakland University and is a member of the golf team. He had a tie for second and a few other top 10s during his junior season, but said he was personally disappointed with it. This is his second amateur. He made it to match play last year, but lost his first match.

“I missed a few fairways here and there, but just by a bit. I really didn’t miss a fairway until the 18th hole when I was in the heather off to the left and just had to play it back in. Other than that I hit the ball really good.”

“You’ve got to hit the fairway. If you don’t hit the fairway you are not doing anything else from there. The greens are really fast if they are downhill, but if they are uphill, they are really slow so it is kind of like two different speeds out there.”

 “I’m working on some swing changes here and there. Most of the time, it works if I trust it. It’s just trusting it all the time. I’m not even trying to play to a score. I’m just trying to make a good swing and trust it.

Blake English, Charlotte, 22, shot 71

  This is his first Michigan Amateur.  He chipped in from 25 yards out for an eagle on 18. He played college golf at Miami of Ohio, but has left school and is deciding his future. He is a former GAM Junior champion.

“I hit it at the center of the greens. I had to play it safe today because of the wind. Game plan for tomorrow is to hit center of the fairway and center of the greens.

  “I really like match play format. I walk and carry my own bag.”

Tom Werkmeister, Kentwood, 45, shot 70

  Tom was the 2009 Michigan Amateur Champion at Spring Meadows. Last week he won the Michigan Open – the first amateur to do so since 1975 and just the fifth in the 96-year history of that tournament. Only five golfers have ever won both the Amateur and the Open – Chuck Kocsis, Randy Erskine, Lynn Janson, Ryan Brehm and Tom Werkmeister. Nobody has ever won both in the same year.

“I played really poorly on the first nine. I hit it in the heather on the first two holes and was stymied behind a tree on the third hole, and somehow I made all pars. That was a comforting feeling because I hit some really weird shots.

“As I started on 10 I figured out I was probably moving my head or something, so I stayed still and started hitting some better shots. I played solid on the back, just couldn’t get anything to drop.

“I made a really nice eagle on the last hole – driver, 3-wood from 258 or something like that. Hit it to 12-feet or so.

 “It was the longest putt we made all day in our group, which probably happened a lot today because the greens were pretty tricky.

 “I just grinded my way around, and made a nice putt on the last hole.

“I was wondering after the first three or four holes: Is this the letdown I was thinking I might have? I felt comfortable. I felt confident. But as soon as I got over the ball I didn’t know where it was going for a while, which is not good and very unlike me. But fortunately the short gave saved me early on, then I kind of figured out what was going on with my swing and I hit the ball much better and finished strong. So pretty happy with that score for sure.

“Before even teed off today (medalist) was the goal. I will maintain that goal tomorrow and see what happens.

“I’m not one to go to the range and figure things out or maintain a swing thought. I think every day is different so I just come back and we will see what we have tomorrow. You just go with what you have that day. Maybe I’m lazy and I just don’t like to practice, but that’s me.

“It was a little more windy than I thought, and I swear it switched direction on the back. So the wind was a factor, but the greens are the tough part here.

Andrew Chapman, 33, Traverse City shot 71, member Traverse City CC and Kingsley Club

   He works at Hightower Advisors in Traverse City. Late start to the golf season at home, and twin 7-month old boys – Graham and Lincoln – has limited his time playing.  He played college golf at Michigan. Has made match play before, including last year, in the Michigan Amateur, but also didn’t play in the Amateur several years.

  “I played pretty solid (on the front nine), and had some good looks. I was a little disappointed with the back. I made two kind of squirrelly bogeys and played the par 5s 1-over. Hopefully I can do better than that tomorrow. I haven’t been able to play a whole lot this year, so nice to get a good one under my belt.

  Hightower Advisors  

  “I play my best when I take it one shot at a time. You know, hit the fairway, then try to hit the green and go like that. In the past I had a bad habit of getting way too far ahead of myself. So I’m going to try and do the same thing tomorrow and focus on hitting the first fairway.”