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Coriasso claims GAM Mid-Amateur with strong finish
Michael Coriasso (GAM photo)
Michael Coriasso (GAM photo)

Michael Coriasso put on some last-minute heroics at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Mich., to win the Golf Association of Michigan Mid-Amateur Championship. Coriasso finished his regulation round on the Moor Course with a birdie on the par 4 17th, then eagled the par 5 18th to shoot a 3-under 69 and force a tie with Brad Bastion of Shelby Township, who also shot 69 for a 5-under 139 total.

Coriasso, 29 and a loan officer for Quicken Loans, then birdied the first hole of sudden-death, the par 4 10th, with a 15-foot birdie putt for his first GAM tournament victory and what he called his 100 percent biggest win ever.

“It’s an awesome feeling to win,” he said after accepting the Glenn H. Johnson Trophy for winning the championship for golfers over age 25.

“I was really the odd man out all day. From the 12th hole to the 16th I maybe hit one green. I was really scrambling just to stay in it and have a shot. Then after I birdied 17 I knew it was stacked – Brad, Steve (Nichols), me and Nathan (Clark), and I knew to have any chance I had to make eagle on 18 and Brad had to make par or worse. I hit a really good drive, and then a good 7-iron to about 18 feet. I read the putt straight and then second-guessed and thought this has to go a hair left. I played it that way, made a perfect stroke and it went in. It was a great feeling.”

Coriasso and Bastion, who also finished second last year to a dramatic rally by Scott Strickland of Bloomfield Hills, went to No. 10 where Coriasso had birdied during regulation play.

“That hole, 10, has been my nemesis for years coming up here,” Coriasso said. “Usually it is howling into the wind like today, and you have water hazards, left and right and short of the green,” he said. “I was commiserating with Brad about how that hole keeps me up at night. Sometimes in the middle of the year I will think about it. To birdie it twice today was awesome. Brad told me there was more room up there than I think, so I thought about it and hit driver both times. In the playoff I had a good lie in the rough and hit a good shot to 18 feet. I had a putt on the same line earlier today and made it, so I knew it was just outside the right edge and I knocked it in.”

The Mid-Am Senior Championship (over age 55), which closed on the Heather course on Thursday, also ended in a dramatic playoff with Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Steve Maddalena emerging as the winner in a four-golfer sudden-death playoff.

A Super Senior Division champion was also crowned among the players over age 65. Ian Harris won his third GAM Super Senior trophy of the summer and fourth including the Michigan PGA’s Senior Open, which includes a Super Senior Division. He shot 73 for 148, topping Gary Quitiquit of Highland, who shot 77 for 155.

Quotes and information from the Golf Association of Michigan used in this report

ABOUT THE GAM Mid-Amateur

36-hole stroke play championship contested over two days. Open to men, 25 and older; flights include Mid-Am (5.4 hdcp max), Mid-Senior (8.4 hdcp max), Seniors (10.4 hdcp max), and Super Seniors (10.4 hdcp max).

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