EAST LANSING – Reigning U.S. Amateur champion James Piot of Canton was a special guest Wednesday at the Annual Meeting of the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) at Eagle Eye Golf Club.
The standout Michigan State University golfer added another trophy of sorts, too.
The GAM has commissioned a replica of the U.S. Amateur trophy, the Havemeyer Trophy, that Piot will be able to keep. He currently has possession of the actual Havemeyer trophy for winning the national championship last summer at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania but must return that to the USGA before this year’s U.S. Amateur.
“My life changed when I won the U.S. Amateur and a lot of great things keep happening because of it,” he said. “It was cool to win, a little unbelievable honestly, and what has happened since has been unbelievable, too.”
Piot was interviewed during the annual meeting by Michigan Golf Live’s Bill Hobson. He shared stories from playing in the recent Masters Tournament, including getting special help from former Masters champion Sergio Garcia early in the week before a dinner honoring the amateur golfers in the field.
“Me and (Aaron Jarvis) the Latin American Amateur champion went looking for somebody to help us because we had to wear ties and we didn’t know how to tie one,” Piot said. “I happened to look into the Champions Locker Room and we saw one of the attendants. He told us we could come in, so we did and Sergio Garcia was in there. We introduced ourselves to him and we ending up telling him we were looking for somebody to help us with our ties. He said, ‘I got you,’ and he helped us out. It was pretty cool.”
In addition to learning about the replica trophy coming his way, Piot received a commissioned oil painting of him with the trophy, a golf travel bag with the Michigan State and GAM logos, and a framed copy of the Michigan Links cover for 2022, which features a photo of him with the Havemeyer and GAM Championship trophies that he won in back-to-back weeks.
Awards and honors were a big part of the day.
J. Lee Juett of Oakland Hills Country Club, a longtime GAM volunteer and rules official, was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
Also honored were the GAM Superintendent of Merit Award winner, Ron Dahlin of The Meadows at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, the Club Services Representative of the Year, Glenn Pulice, a PGA professional and general manager of the Royal Oak Golf Center, the Course Rater of the Year, Phil Holmblade of the Flint Elks Golf Club, and the GAM Champion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion honoree, the USGA*LPGA Girls Golf Program sponsored by the Michigan Women’s Golf Association (MWGA).
In addition, the James D. Standish Jr. Award recipients were introduced. The top Evans Scholars in the state, Erik Haneberg of the University of Michigan, and Christian Jackson of Michigan State University, received their plaques.
New Governors were welcomed including John Holden from the GAM Course Rating Club, Maureen MacDougall from Boyne, Elizabeth Cantu from the Michigan Women’s Golf Association, Frank Ervin from Plum Hollow Country Club and Mark Bond of Edgewood Country Club.
The Players of the Year (POY) for 2021, who were announced late last year, were honored as well.
They included Piot as men’s POY, Kimberly Dinh as women’s POY, Jerry Gunthorpe as senior men’s POY, Terry Delcamp as senior women’s POY, Rick Herpich as super senior POY, PJ Maybank III as junior boy’s POY, Sophie Stevens as junior girl’s POY, Max VanderMolen as 15-and-under boy’s POY and Mia Melendez as 15-and-under girl’s POY.
The meeting closed with Tom Anderson of the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club in Ann Arbor taking the reins as president of the GAM from Mark Bultema of Quail Ridge Golf Course in Grand Rapids, who will now have president emeritus status.
The other officers for this year include Jay Hultz of Plum Hollow as first vice-president, Judy Lazzaro of Oakland University Golf & Learning Center as second vice-president, Richard Aginian of Oakland Hills Country Club as third vice-president, Tom Roehl of the GAM Course Rating Club as treasurer and Dan Longeway of Western Golf & Country Club as secretary.
Photo of James Piot, right, talking with Bill Hobson of Michigan Live, left, at the GAM Annual Meeting Wednesday. The trophies are the Havemeyer U.S. Amateur trophy, left, and the K.T. Keller GAM Championship trophy.