CHARLEVOIX, MICH. - Henry Do, a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina, emerged as the champion of the 103rd Michigan Amateur Championship after one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the state's oldest and most prestigious championship. The 19-year-old Tar Heel golfer from Canton, Mich., turned back 41-year-old commercial real-estate lender Steve Anderson of Troy, Mich., in 19 holes Friday in the 40th Amateur held at historic Belvedere Golf Club.
"I'm still shocked I was able to come out with a victory," Do said. "It's quite an accomplishment for me to have my name on the (Staghorn) trophy with those other guys."
Do lost a 1-up lead on No. 16 to a stunning downhill 20-foot birdie by Anderson, and then at No. 17 fell victim as Anderson dropped a 45-foot putt from across the green for birdie.
"I was completely rattled on the tee, and my caddie (Dongmin Kim) told me you still have a shot at this," Do said. "So I got it together a little bit, hit a good tee shot and gave myself a good opportunity to hit one close and I guess I did."
He did - a 180-yard 7-iron shot to within 12 inches to force extra holes.
"That's got to be all-time greatest shot for me under pressure," Do said. "I can't think of a better shot."
On the first extra hole, Anderson missed the green short and missed his seven-foot par putt, which left Do to finish with a three-foot par putt and the victory. It closed out the drama which included one of the players winning each of the last six holes played in the match.
"It was crazy," Do said. "I give Steve a lot of credit for making those two putts on 16 and 17. It really gave me a headache because I thought I was closer than him on 16, and he could lag it close and I could lag it close and I would still be 1-up. Then on 17 he makes a bomb, which is unbelievable. I told myself I still have one more hole left, and if I can just stay in there I can hopefully force this to extra holes."
Anderson, a former Eastern Michigan University tennis player who took up golf because it's more relaxing, said he gave everything he had as the surprise finalist and a first-time match play qualifier as the 36th seed.
"If I had to lose I'm happy it was to Henry," Anderson said. "I made a great putt at 16, 17 was some luck there and on the extra hole, it just didn't work out when I missed short. Henry's a great guy with a great attitude and a lot of talent. It's not bad to lose to somebody like that."
Do reached the final with a 3 and 2 win over Grand Valley State golfer Chris Cunningham of Milford, Mich., in their morning semifinal. Anderson won in 19 holes over Otto Black, a University of Toledo golfer from Pinckney, Mich. Do said it was great to win at Belvedere and praised the grounds staff for getting the course ready for the tournament after the long winter."It was really in amazing shape," Do said. "It's a great course and a great old club."