After four days of unseasonably warm temperatures and fending off the best field in Michigan Junior Golf Joey Garber (Petoskey) earned the title of 32nd Michigan Junior State Amateur Champion at Dearborn Country Club.
After a successful year that includes a win at the Michigan Amateur earlier this summer, Garber considers this a fitting achievement right behind his victory at Oakhurst. As the summer tournament schedule begins to wind down and he looks toward the GAM Championship at Flint Golf Club, August 16-17, Garber is in position to put a cap on what has already been an exceptional season.
After completing a third straight run toward the medal play title at the Junior Amateur Garber turned his sights toward the Match Play title which has eluded him as the #1 seed in 2008 and 2009.
Garber only trailed by no more than one hole during his first three matches but found himself in a quick 3-hole deficit against fellow finalist, Tyler Pope-Ferguson , (Amherstburg). Facing the deficit Garber was able to weather the storm and drew on the confidence he gained from his success in match play at the Michigan Amateur. A strong putter and excellent ball striking proved Pope-Ferguson as a superb competitor able to hold command of the match until the later holes on Dearborn’s back nine.
Garber was able to win the 12th hole and brought his game around to where he was able to square the match late on the back nine. The 18th hole was halved and both players headed to #1 where Garber proceeded to hit an excellent approach that was good enough to outlast a par putt by Pope-Ferguson that finished short of the hole.
The Michigan Junior put a cap to an excellent Junior Golf career by Garber with two GAM Junior Player of the Year awards already earned in the past two seasons, these credentials will go with him to Ann Arbor this fall as a Freshman on the University of Michigan’s Golf Team.
Garber’s role as defending Champion will be vacated next season as he moves on after his win at Dearborn Country Club and the 33rd edition of the Michigan Junior State Amateur will stop at The Medalist in Marshall, Michigan.