MSU teammates share medalist honors with match play next at rain-soaked Michigan Amateur
Harbor Springs — Two Michigan State teammates shared medalist honors after the stroke-play portion of the rain-soaked Michigan Amateur.
Andrew Walker of Battle Creek and James Piot of Canton each shot 66 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 6 under par, putting them atop the brackets in the match-play portion, which began Wednesday.
Heavy rains and soggy conditions cut off play Tuesday night, forcing the rest of the field to finish early Wednesday before the brackets could be compiled.
Walker and Piot both played early Tuesday, and thus finished their rounds on the Heather course at Boyne. The course played to a par 69 on Tuesday, because the par-5 fifth was so underwater, it had to be transformed into a par 3.
East Lansing's Nick Gunthorpe was third in stroke play, at 3 under, while Bloomfield Hills' Grant Haefner, who plays at Wayne State, and Portage's Will Anderson, a Michigan commitment, were tied for fourth at 1 under.
Match play runs from Wednesday through Friday, with the championship match Friday.
“Match play is a different beast,” Walker said. “You are playing less against the course and more against your fellow competitor. Two years ago, it was definitely a learning experience for me.
"Looking at my game right now, it is trending in a very good place compared to where it was two years ago going into match play. I do feel confident, and that bit of experience is going to help me also.”
Piot birdied his final two holes Tuesday to join Walker atop the leaderboard.
“I want to keep it going from there,” Piot said.
Defending champion Ben Smith, a Novi native who plays at Georgia Tech, made the match-play portion of the 64-player bracket, tying for 26th at 6 over.