Brogan Brockie watches his putt head toward the hole during the Lyle Ambs Memorial Golf Tournament qualifying round Saturday at Ella Sharp Park Golf Course in Jackson. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
A group posting rounds of 76 during the Lyle Ambs Memorial Golf Tournament qualifying were waiting for the last group to come in at Ella Sharp Park Golf Course on Saturday.
The group was worried their scores could not be good enough to be in the championship flight.
Three college golfers took the final three spots and 76 was bounced to the first flight.
It took a score of 75 to qualify for the Lyle Ambs championship flight on Saturday.
Match play will begin next Saturday with 36 holes scheduled each day. A total of 34 golfers participated in the qualifying round. Sixteen made the championship flight, 14 are expected to be in the first flight, and four in the second flight.
Riley Hestwood (64), Logan Anuszkiewicz (66) and Conor Spencer (71) dashed all hopes, taking the three spots in the championship field.
Hestwood – a junior-to-be at Aquinas College – earned medalist honors with a 6-under 64 to continue his hot play this spring. He won the Spring Thaw Tournament at Cascades Golf Course earlier in the spring.
He has learned to love the match play format.
“I used to worry about what others were doing on the course,” Hestwood said. “In match play, you know what you have to do.”
He shot a 31 on the front nine, carded a 33 on the back, and was bogey-free for his round.
Anuszkiewicz is a junior at Hillsdale College after golfing at Jackson College. His 66 was the second-best round of the day on the par 70 layout at Sharp Park.
High school seniors to be Brogan Brockie and Justin Bunch shot 67.
Brockie, a Hanover-Horton High School senior, beat his father Mike for the first time in a tournament.
“I was feeling it today … very confident out there,” Brockie said. “Hopefully we will meet later in the tournament.”
Bunch is a senior at Jackson High School. Both Brockie and Bunch missed their junior seasons following the COVID 19 pandemic.
“We had a good team (this spring) that would have qualified for the state meet,” Bunch said. “That was disappointing.”
He couldn’t have been disappointed with his putting – only 23 for the day.
“That (putting) saved me all day,” Bunch said.”
The foursome will join defending champion Tom Butterfield next Saturday for the beginning of match play. Other championship qualifiers in the top 16 included Greg Zeller (68), Sean Vann (69), Will Double (69), Todd Marston (70), Bret Valkuchak (70), Brett Casto (70), Henry Hitt (71), Conor Spencer (71), Mike Brockie (72), Mark Kurzynowski (74), and Colin Norton (75).
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