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Bunch Claims First Lyle Ambs Golf Championship

Jackson High School senior Justin Bunch won the Lyle Ambs Memorial Tournament championship flight at Sharp Park Golf Course. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

Jackson High School soon-to-be senior Justin Bunch won his first Lyle Ambs Memorial Golf Tournament championship on Sunday at Ella Sharp Park Golf Course.

Bunch defeated defending champion Tom Butterfield 2-and-1 in the semifinal match and defeated three-time champion Mark Kurzynowski 6-and-5 in the final of the championship flight on Sunday.

He may have become the youngest winner of the Lyle Ambs.

Dave Hill won the tournament as a 17-year-old in 1954, according to records on the Jackson Golf Committee.

Bunch is only 16 years old.

“Everybody who I played in the Lyle Ambs tournament played good,” Bunch said. “It took the best that I had to win the tournament.”

Bunch was 2 down in his semifinal match against Butterfield after nine holes. But he turned it on the back nine to win 2-and-1.

In the championship match against Mark Kurzynowski, Bunch played well again ending the tournament on hole 13.

The high school student has played against some of Jackson’s best local players this summer.

“You learn from some of the older players on how to manage your game,” Bunch said. “You can then take that knowledge and see how it helps your game.”

Bunch said winning such a prestigious tournament will give him confidence in the future.

“I have been in position to win a number of tournaments,” Bunch said. “This is finally going to give me confidence.”

Bunch said he will continue to play on the R.W. Mercer Jackson Junior Tour, play in some local tournaments, and Golf Association of Michigan events.

Dave Mickle won the first-flight championship with a win over Leslie High School soon-to-be senior Cannon Risner on Sunday.

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