'It's going well': Two Michigan men among final eight in U.S. Senior Amateur at CC of Detroit
The state of Michigan might just do a double-dip with two signature United States Golf Association tournaments.
Two weeks after Canton native and Michigan State golfer James Piot won the U.S. Amateur, two Michigan men are among the final eight players vying for the U.S. Senior Amateur championship at Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Not that Jerry Gunthorpe, of Ovid, is allowing his mind to wander that direction just yet.
"No, no, not at all," he said Tuesday night, after winning a pair of matches to advance to Wednesday's quarterfinal round. "I really haven't.
"I'm just doing what I've been doing every day since the first practice round, sticking to the same routine, getting some rest, watching my body, and making sure I'm feeling good."
He was feeling pretty good Tuesday night, following a 4-and-3 victory over Jim Scorse of Churchville, New York. It was a round in which he admittedly played great, after some struggles in the morning.
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His morning match was tied heading to the 17th hole with Brad Wayment, of Mesa, Arizona, when Gunthorpe said he found a flaw with his alignment.
He fixed that, made birdie at the par-5 17th hole to halve that one, and then striped a drive at the par-4 18th, leading to a clinching par.
During the break, he checked his alignment and realized the fix was spot-on.
"I hit it much better," Gunthorpe, 58, said of the afternoon match, in which he won four of the first 10 holes to take the commanding lead. "It carried over.
"I've had a pretty good summer with what I've done so far. I've had some ups and downs but when I get into a rhythm ... I can kind of keep it going. I've rode the wave. It's going well."
Also in the quarterfinals is Commerce Township's Tom Gieselman, who survived a grueling afternoon match with Joe Jaspers of Huntersville, North Carolina. The match was never separated by more than one hole. Gieselman lost the 17th to square the match, but won it with par at the 18th. In the morning match, Gieselman beat Philip Mahone, of Charlottesville, Virginia, 6 and 5.
Losing in the Round of 32 morning match was Kevin VandenBerg, of Pulaski, New York. He's from Michigan, having won the 2000 Michigan Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan Championship and Mid-Amateur — which is the state's Triple Crown. VandenBerg lost to Lewis Stephenson, of Mansfield, Texas, 2 and 1.
The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Wednesday, with the 18-hole championship match Thursday.