For The First Time Ever, A Michigander Has Won The US Amateur Golf Title
Michigan State student James Piot rallied from three holes back in match play to earn the championship.
Piot, who is from Canton, is the first ever U.S. Amateur champion to be born in Michigan. The tournament was played on the US Open course at Oakmont, PA near Pittsburgh.
The Spartan golf team member shook off an early bad start against Austin Greaser of North Carolina and began his rally on the 27th hole of the 36 hole final.
Trailing by three holes, Piot tore off a streak by winning the next four holes, and then iced his victory with a birdie putt on the 17th green. Greaser was forced to match his birdie, but missed his putt to give Piot the 121st Amateur championship.
"It's the greatest feeling in the world. I mean, as an amateur it's the best thing you can do," Piot said in the post match press conference. "It was making that putt on 17 was just like, 'Oh, my God. I might've done it.'"
"Coming from Michigan it's a phenomenal feeling being able to grind from a guy who wasn't highly sought after to U.S. Am champ," Piot later told the MSU Athletics web site. "It's just a phenomenal feeling. It validates where I ended up and feels like there was a purpose to going to Michigan State. I have definitely developed as a player since I have been at Michigan State."
According to the Golf Channel, Piot used his Dad's old putter to clinch the win, a ten year old Ping that Piot nicknamed "The Garbage Putter."
“I was too cheap to go buy a putter, so I looked in the basement and, Oh, this thing is here, and then I went back to it probably middle of summer,” Piot said. “I putted lights out in the qualifier, so I'm like, This thing is going to stick.”
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