Canton’s James Piot Tops 2020 Men’s Honor Roll
FARMINGTON HILLS – James Piot of Canton had a great golf summer highlighted by being the runner-up in the Michigan Amateur Championship and earning the No. 2 seed at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
“But I didn’t finish,” the redshirt junior golfer for Michigan State University said. “Next summer I want to get my name on some trophies.”
Piot did finish atop the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) Honor Roll and has been named the 2020 GAM Men’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann senior director of competitions and USGA services for the GAM, announced today.
Player of the Year point totals can be found on a pull down from the PLAY tab at GAM.org. Over the next few weeks the GAM will announce more Players of the Year in gender and age categories.
Piot, who was second in Honor Roll points a year ago, keyed his season with the runner-up finish to Tyler Copp of Ann Arbor and Mercer University (Ga.) in the Michigan Amateur, and his showing in the U.S. Amateur at Oregon’s Bandon Dunes where he made a run at medalist honors and reached the round of 32 in match play.
He finished with 975 Honor Roll points ahead of Copp, who plays out of Barton Hills Country Club and had 605 points. It was Copp who beat Piot 2 and 1 in the championship match of the Michigan Amateur at Boyne Highlands Resort and Copp also finished second in the GAM Championship.
Jimmy Chestnut of Royal Oak and Detroit Golf Club, this year’s GAM Championship winner at age 38, was third with 410 points. Brad Bastion of Shelby Township and Oakland University’s Golf & Learning Center (408) and former Wayne State University golfer Grant Haefner of Bloomfield Hills and Orchard Lake Country Club (363) rounded out the top five.
Piot, who plays out of Fox Hills Golf & Learning Center, called winning Player of the Year a big accomplishment.
“I was runner-up and I was Junior Player of the Year, but this is a first and I’m grateful,” he said. “I hope to keep it going and try to win it again.”
In addition to garnering points for being runner-up at the Michigan Amateur and his showing at the U.S. Amateur, Piot also finished third in the GAM Championship, just missed the prestigious final 16 at the Western Amateur and had noteworthy performances in several other national and regional tournaments.
Piot plans to opt for a fifth and final year of eligibility at MSU granted by the NCAA due to the coronavirus pandemic. He has professional plans in the future.
“Overall I had a good summer,” he said. “I didn’t have any bad tournaments, but I didn’t have any super tournaments either. The Michigan Amateur was a heartbreaker because I was playing so well through that week. Whenever I played I tried my best to win. That’s the overall objective and for next summer that will still be the main goal.”
He said his play midway through the Michigan Amateur was his best golf of the summer.
“I had a stretch where I was 11-under in 21 or 22 holes over two matches,” he said. “That’s when I realized I can get my game to another level, that I’m capable of doing what I want to do with golf. Even though I didn’t finish the Amateur, I had that stretch to build on and the rest of the summer I played solid golf.”
Hartmann said Piot had an all-around great year.
“He was close to winning our two majors and he played very well at the U.S. Amateur and continued to play well it seemed like every week through the summer,” he said. “He’s a great guy and a steady golfer. You don’t have to go below the top 10 to find his name in almost any tournament. It did seem like it was his time to win the Michigan Amateur, but Tyler Copp played great, too, and if James hangs in there and keeps working on his game he will get another chance at it.”