Brother Rice sophomore, 15, advances to Sweet 16 of Michigan Amateur
Harbor Springs — A 15-year-old from Rochester Hills stunned the field at the Michigan Open on Wednesday, winning two matches to advance to Thursday's Sweet 16 round at the Heather course at Boyne.
Lorenzo Pinili, who just finished his freshman year at Birmingham Brother Rice, won his first match, 6 and 5, against two-time former Golf Association of Michigan champion Mitchell White, of Muskegon. Pinili followed that up with a 3 and 2 win over Oakland golfer Kyle Petrovich of West Bloomfield.
“It feels really great to win,” Pinili said. “For a while I was one-down (second match against Petrovich) and I was just trying to keep it together. To turn it around and win is just a great feeling. I was just playing to make pars, and then after I was one-down I realized I had to get aggressive and that at times in match play you have to do something different. I learned that today.”
Pinili, last year, won the Golfweek Junior Tour Championship.
The defending champion, Ben Smith of Novi and a Georgia Tech golfer, also was eliminated Wednesday, beaten by Wayne State golfer Grant Haefner from Bloomfield Hills in Wednesday's afternoon matches.
Haefner was medalist at the Michigan Amateur in 2017, but lost his first-round match.
“I never have played good golf through three days of an amateur like this," Haefner said. "I only made two bogeys today and I was bogey-free against Ben.
"I hit a lot of good shots, made good putts and I’m just real happy I executed my shots when I had to do it.”
Match play continues Thursday, with the semifinals and championship match Friday.