GROSSE POINTE WOODS – Hartland’s Beau Breault said when match play starts he becomes a different Beau.
The match play Beau won twice Thursday and is part of the traditional “Sweet 16” at the 107th Michigan Amateur presented by Carl’s Golfland at Country Club of Detroit.
“The goal at the start of the week was to get into match play because I know anything can happen in match play,” said Breault, an Eastern Michigan University golfer and last year’s runner-up to Tom Werkmeister.
“Once I get into match play I’m a different Beau. I play more aggressive. I’m more aggressive with my putting and more aggressive on me tee shots, whereas in stroke play I’m kind of laying back, hitting a few irons off the tee. It kills me sometimes hitting irons off the tee.”
Record-setting medalist and top-seed Andrew Walker of Battle Creek was knocked out by the 64 seed and 2008 champion Jimmy Chestnut of Royal Oak, 1-up, in the morning round of 64. It marked the second consecutive year the top seed has gone out in the first round of match play.
Chestnut, 35, ran into Breault in the afternoon though, and fell 4 and 3. Chestnut was the second accomplished veteran player Breault beat Thursday. He birdied his first five holes in turning back Mike Ignasiak, the former Major League baseball player and a runner-up in 2013, 3 and 2, in the round of 64.
“I hit a lot of good drives and set myself up in good positions,” Breault said. “I started my morning match with five straight birdies. That was big and beating two really good golfers gives me confidence, just like finishing second last year did. I circled this one on my calendar for the summer, this and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur. I love match play, and I want to win this. I’ve already finished second.”
Patrick Sullivan, son of Country Club of Detroit member Tom Sullivan and a Grosse Pointe South High School golfer, was the crowd favorite, but fell to Lake Orion High School player Drew Coble 1-up in the afternoon. Coble is the son of Twin Lakes Golf & Swim Club professional Jeff Coble and the youngest member of the Sweet 16.
The oldest golfer still battling is 47-year-old David Hall of Birmingham, who won the final match of the day. A native of Grosse Pointe, the owner of Hall Financial Group beat Connor Jones of Rochester Hills, the long-hitting recent graduate of Oakland University, 1-up, to earn the final spot in the Sweet 16.
Ryan Johnson of New Boston, 33 and the 2015 champion, has become a fixture in the Sweet 16. He beat his boss, Carl’s Golfland’s CEO Casey Baker, 5 and 4 in the round of 64, and then turned back Bryce Messner of Howell 2-up in the afternoon. Baker caddied for him in the afternoon, too.
Jake Kneen, a recent Oakland University graduate who just last week won the Michigan Open Championship, won two close matches to keep his hot summer going.
Two Michigan State golfers, Charlie Green of Ann Arbor, a recent graduate, and Zach Rosendale of St. Johns, who will be a sophomore in the fall, made the Sweet 16.
Josh Gibson of Grandville, a Hope College golfer who was the NCAA Division III Player of the Year, beat former champion Henry Do of Canton and Michigan State golfer James Piot of Canton to earn his spot.
John Quigley of St. Clair Shores, the 2017 GAM Mid-Amateur champion and two-time Michigan Publinx Match Play winner, is in the final 16 for the third time, and Anthony Sorentino, a 40-year-old attorney from Shelby Township who is a three-time GAM Mid-Amateur champion, is also in for the third time.
THE SWEET 16
Beau Breault, 21, Hartland, Eastern Michigan University golfer
John Quigley, 34, St. Clair Shores, strategist for Blue Cross Blue Shield
Max Rispler, 22, Grand Rapids, Bowling Green State University golfer
Drew Coble, 17, Lake Orion, Lake Orion High School golfer
Josh Gibson, 21, Grandville, Hope College golfer
Charlie Green, 23, Ann Arbor, Michigan State University golfer
Jake Kneen, 22, White Lake, Oakland University golfer
Ben VanScoyk, 22, Grand Rapids, Calvin College golfer
Zach Rosendale, 19, St. Johns, Michigan State University golfer
Anthony Sorentino, 40, Shelby Township, Attorney
Noah Schneider, 20, Jackson, Appalachian State University golfer
Kyle Rybicki, 23, White Lake, Wayne State University golfer
Ben Smith, 19, Novi, Georgia Institute of Technology golfer
Ryan Johnson, 33, New Boston, Carl’s Golfland club fitter
Alex Scott, 21, Traverse City, Grand Valley State University golfer
David Hall, 47, Birmingham, owner of Hall Financial Group