CHARLEVOIX, Mich. – Henry Do, a 19-year-old University of North Carolina golfer, emerged as the champion of the 103rd Michigan Amateur Championship by defeating 41-year-old commercial real-estate lender Steve Anderson in 19 holes 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 trophy with those other guys.”
It was one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the state’s oldest and most prestigious championship.
After losing a 1-up lead on hole No. 16 to a stunning downhill 20-foot birdie putt by Anderson, Do fell victim once again on No. 17 as he watched a 45-foot birdie putt from across the green find the bottom of the cup giving Anderson a 1-up lead heading to No. 18.
“I was completely rattled on the tee, and my caddie told me you still have a shot at this,” he 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.”
Do’s 180-yard, 7-iron shot on No. 18 landed within 12 inches to force extra holes.
“That’s got to be the 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 then missed a 7-footer for par. That left Do to finish with a 3-footer for the victory.
“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 “I never dreamed I’d get this far.”
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,” he 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.”