CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (June 18, 2014) – Saline’s Ian Martin stood in front of the Belvedere Golf Club pro shop and admitted he had shocked himself.
“It’s my top accomplishment in golf, that’s for sure,” said the 18-year-old Saline High School graduate after upsetting defending champion Andrew Chapman , 3 and 2, and knocking him out of the 103rd Michigan Amateur Championship in the second round of matches Wednesday afternoon.
“I like playing with pressure, but I mean, it was intimidating, but in golf it really doesn’t matter who you are playing. You play your own game.”
Martin will play his game next in the prestigious “Sweet 16” that was determined through two rounds of matches Wednesday. Two more rounds Thursday and two on Friday will determine a champion in Michigan’s oldest state championship.
Chapman, the tournament’s stroke play medalist Tuesday after a record-setting round of 63, won his Wednesday morning match over Nick Park 5 and 3, but said his putting left him in the afternoon match with Martin.
“I hit a couple of loose shots and missed a couple of short putts, and you can’t do that in the Michigan Amateur,” he said. “There was no sneaking up on anyone for me this year. I needed to be ready with my best stuff because I was going to get everyone’s best punch and I just didn’t have it today. And Ian, he played really well. I just never put any pressure on him.”
Chapman wasn’t the only first day upset victim. Last year’s runner-up Mike Ignasiak of Saline, the former Major League baseball player and Dairy Queen owner, was knocked out by Derrek Klimek of Ada 4 and 3 in the round of 64. Klimek then lost in the round of 32 to Grand Valley State University golfer Chris Cunningham 2 and 1.
Tom Werkmeister, the 2009 champion from Kentwood, joined Martin and Cunningham in the final 16 by beating John Quigley of St. Clair Shores 2 and 1 in the round of 32.
“I played my best round of the tournament in the afternoon match,” Werkmeister said after making it to the round of 16 for the seventh time. “John Quigley is tough. I was fortunate to play well. It’s been hit or miss all week. I have no idea what to expect tomorrow.”
Another former champion, Greg Davies (2006) of West Bloomfield, reached the final 16 for the ninth time. He beat Kyle Rodes of Plymouth 3 and 2 in the afternoon match.
“I hit the ball very good all day,” he said. “I was hitting my driver in play every time and out here the rough is like a jungle. I hired a trainer November 1st and we have been working out three days a week together, so I feel a lot better than I usually do after 36 holes.”
Steve Anderson was another golfer shocked that he was in the “Sweet 16.” The 41-year-old commercial real-estate lender said he enters the Michigan Amateur each year hoping to qualify for the starting field.
“Just to qualify for someone like me is great,” he said. “Making it to match play, you never even think about it. In fact my family is on vacation for the week, we’re supposed to be in Glen Harbor but I said ‘alright we will stop here for two rounds Monday and Tuesday so they’re going to be wondering what’s going on.”
The biggest surprise was Martin ousting Chapman, however. He said he struggled a few weeks ago in the state high school tournament, and was looking forward to this tournament. He has been accepted and will attend the University of Michigan, and plans to walk-on tryout for the golf team. He said it was exciting to beat a former Michigan standout like Chapman.
“I made a couple of birdies at 8 and 9 that sort of turned the match my way,” he said. “Andrew missed a couple of putts I thought he was going to make. It helped a ton having my dad (Dave) caddie for me. He has taught me everything I know about golf and he just kept me playing my game.”
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