Royal Oak's Jimmy Chestnut claims second GAM Championship

Jimmy Chestnut of Royal Oak finished 3-under 68 for a 7-under tournament total to claim his second Golf Association of Michigan Championship Tuesday, 12 years after winning his first.

The 38-year-old attorney rallied to pass Ann Arbor’s Tyler Copp, who shot a closing 73 for a 6-under finish in the 99th edition of the GAM member championship at Western Golf & Country Club in Redford.

 “I’ve won the Michigan Amateur and the GAM, and now the GAM again and to win three of the big GAM events is a big deal for me,” said Chestnut, a Grand Blanc native who is legal counsel for AlixPartners, a global consulting firm. He played his college golf at Michigan State.  “It kicks me up a notch, I guess to another level in my mind, and to do it 12 years later is special.”

Chestnut, the last golfer to win the GAM Championship and the Michigan Amateur in the same year (2008), stopped the attempt of Copp, this year’s Michigan Amateur champion, to match the feat. It has been accomplished eight times by seven golfers in 99 years, including Melvin “Bud” Stevens, a Michigan Golf Hall of Famer, and former Western Golf & Country Club member.

Copp, who will be a senior at Mercer University in Georgia in the fall, made bogey with missed fairways and greens on holes 10, 12 and 13 while Chestnut rallied with pars on 10 and 13 and birdies on holes 11 and 12.

“Five shots went down to nothing in four holes, and three were bogies, so I mean, I feel like I gave it away more than he took it away,” said Copp who left a 20-foot tying birdie putt just an inch short of the lip of the cup on No. 18.

“I’m not going to be too hung up about it. The Michigan Am was the one tournament I wanted to win this summer, so this was just icing on the cake, or could have been.”

James Piot of Canton, an MSU standout, shot a closing 71 to check in third at 5-under.

Andrew Walker of Battle Creek, another Spartan, shot 72, and Brad Bastion of Shelby Twp., who closed with a 69, tied at 3-under. Zach Robbins of Grand Rapids and Cleveland State University, who shot 70, and reigning Michigan Mid-Am champion Mike Coriasso of White Lake, who shot 73, finished at 1-under.

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