Written By: Greg Johnson
FARMINGTON HILLS – In 2023 Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills won the stroke play title at the Michigan Junior State Amateur, reached the quarterfinals in the Michigan Amateur, won the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 2 individual state championship, was named the state’s Mr. Golf and embarked on his collegiate career at Michigan State University.
“The goal is always to improve and finishing the year at the top of the points list tells me I accomplished the goal by getting better and being more consistent,” he said.
Pinili, 19, has been named the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, Alex Clark, director of tournament operations, announced today.
“It’s a nice way to wrap up my junior golf career,” he said. “Having success in GAM and other tournaments I was able to hit all the milestones with boys’ golfer of the year being one of them to complete my junior career. I’m really happy about that. The next goal will be to keep going and work to be the men’s player of the year.”
Pinili, a Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club member, topped the points list with 1,130 points, just ahead of Will Preston of Grand Rapids and Cascade Hills Country Club (1,115 points), who won the Michigan State Junior Amateur Championship and is headed to Penn State University’s golf program next fall.
Drew Miller of East Lansing, a Country Club of Lansing member and last year’s GAM Junior Boys’ Player of the Year who is joining Pinili at MSU, was third with 642.5 points. Julian Menser of South Lyon and Fox Hills Golf, Banquet and Learning Center (607.5 points) and Peter Roehl of Rochester Hills and Oakland University Golf and Learning Center (592) rounded out the top five. Menser, like Miller, is headed to MSU, and Roehl has signed to play college golf at Oakland University.
Player of the Year points can be found on a pull down from the PLAY tab at GAM.org. In recent weeks Kimberly Dinh of Midland was named the Women’s Player of the Year, August Meekhof of Eastmanville the Men’s Player of the Year, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett the Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Greg Davies of West Bloomfield the Senior Men’s Player of the Year, John Morgan of Novi the Super Senior Player of the Year and Alena Li of Okemos the Junior Girls’ Player of the Year.
Later this week and early next week the GAM will announce the 15-and-under junior golf Player of the Year awards. The Players of the Year awards are presented by Carl’s Golfland.
Pinili felt winning medalist honors in the U.S. Amateur sectional qualifier at MSU’s Forest Akers Golf Course was his top performance of the summer.
“It showed me I had resilience,” he said. “I was 1-under after round one and knew I had to rally back and dig deep to make the U.S. Amateur. I shot 7-under in the second round and it proved to me I have the ability to get the job done.”
Pinili, whose primary golf teacher is Adam Farabaugh of Country Club of Detroit, missed the 36-hole cut at the U.S. Amateur, but said the two days of competition was a wonderful experience.
“I learned the whole time I was out there,” he said. “It was unreal. The level of competition and the experience has already helped me get better.”
The son of Rommel and Carla Pinili said taking a shot at professional golf is something he wants for his future.
“I want to align the stars for my shot one day,” he said. “I feel like I’m on the right path. My focus right now is to improve as a golfer and as a man the next four years.”
Clark said Pinili has a bright future in golf.
“He has played in a lot of GAM tournaments for several years now and always makes you take notice,” he said. “He showed us a few times this year that he can get off to a good start and then maintain it for the whole round by making a lot of birdies. I’m excited to see what he does at Michigan State. He’s talented and works hard on his game.”