Harbor Springs — For the first time since a high-school regional his senior year, Tyler Copp has won a golf tournament. And, oh boy, it's a big one.
Copp, an Ann Arbor native who plays at Mercer University in Georgia, beat Canton's James Piot, a Michigan State golfer, 2 and 1, in the championship match Friday afternoon on the Heather course at Boyne.
“This is very special,” said Copp, who grew up playing hockey, and not golf. “It’s the most important golf tournament that I’ve wanted to win, and it makes me want to just keep on winning bigger and bigger tournaments.”
Copp rolled to victory in his semifinal, 7 and 5 over Grand Blanc's Logan Price.
Piot, in his semifinal, beat future MSU teammate August Meekhof of Grand Rapids, 4 and 3.
“I had a few loose swings, but I felt pretty comfortable all day and didn’t feel too much heat,” Piot said after the final. “My 2-iron on both par 5s, I sent them into the trees and hazard and you just can’t do that. Other than that, I just didn’t make some putts and Tyler played well.”
Piot pulled within two with a birdie at No. 13.
But Copp made the shot of the match on the 14th. From 50 yards left of the green, he chipped over a green-side bunker to 10 inches.
“That was huge up-and-down,” Copp said. “I probably have had better ones, but that was the most important one I’ve ever had. It was the biggest shot of the day. James had momentum there.”
Said Piot: "I did feel like I was gaining momentum, but he kept things going with that chip. I didn’t birdie those holes in the corner (10-11-12) and he played well down the stretch.”