Written By: Greg Johnson
ANN ARBOR – Polo Fields Golf & Country Club has hosted several amateur tournaments over the years, and this weekend, Sept. 23-24, will host many of the state’s top amateur golfers on teams from the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) and Michigan Publinx Golf Association (MPGA) in the 72nd Atlas Trophy Matches.
The two 12-man teams will square off in the historic series in four-ball (best-ball), foursomes (alternate shot) and singles matches to decide the winner of the Atlas Trophy.
The GAM Team will look to retain the cup from its rain-shortened victory in the 71st edition of the matches at Macatawa Golf Club in Holland in 2021.
The Polo Fields was designed by Ann Arbor’s own William Newcomb, an award-winning designer. It opened in 1995 and is a private golf club with a links style design featuring generous fairways, a variety of distinctive design features through the 18 holes and fast challenging greens. The course plays to a maximum of 6,828 yards and has multiple tee positions starting from 5,122 yards.
Bryan Murphy is the head golf professional and Brian Stange is the general manager. Visit polofieldssccmi.com for more information.
The 2021 matches in Holland marked the seventh consecutive time the GAM has won or retained the trophy in the historic biennial competition and pushed the GAM’s all-time lead to 48-20-3.
The series of matches originated in 1938 as a competition between private club golfers represented by the GAM and public course golfers represented by the MPGA with the trophy honoring Edward Atlas, who then was a GAM Governor as well as a USGA Public Links Committee member and Detroit area public golf official.
Prior to 2010, the competition was conducted annually except for World War II years, and historically, private club players competed against public course players. Beginning in 2011, however, it became a biennial competition between GAM member golfers regardless of their course or club affiliation and members of the MPGA.
The GAM and MPGA each select a captain, who then selects 12 team members by using GAM Honor Roll points, MPGA Honor Roll points and other criteria. The golf is complimentary for the players with the event designed to honor those chosen for the teams.
The GAM is represented this year by Vibhav Alokam of Ypsilanti, Julian Menser of South Lyon, Connor Fox of Lake Orion, Chet VandenBerg of Portage, Matt Bartnick of Livonia, Ieuan Jones of Ann Arbor, Andrew Tindall of Chelsea, Remy Stalcup of Lake Orion, Matt Zerbel of St. Joseph, Jared Lyons of Portage, Peter Roehl of Rochester Hills and Mike Zoerhoff of Caledonia.
The MPGA is represented this year by John Quigley of Sterling Heights, Chad Johnson of Farmington Hills, Nicholas Winiarski of Pontiac, Gavin Depauw of Almont, Robert Bedder of Whittaker, Lucas Belanger of Holly, Sean Friel of Keego Harbor, Jonathan Larson of Brighton, Greg Davies of West Bloomfield, Razmig Boghikian of Novi, Scott Jaschu of Walled Lake and Johnny Chaivre of Ann Arbor.
Foursomes matches will be played on Saturday morning with four-ball matches to follow in the afternoon. Individual matches are played on Sunday. One point is awarded per match with ½ point being given to each team for a halved match. If tied at the end of the competition, the team currently holding the trophy retains it.