TRAVERSE CITY — Forget last year.
That will be Andrew Chapman’s mantra Monday when he tees off in the 103rd Michigan Amateur at Charlevoix’s Belvedere Golf Club.
The 34-year-old Traverse City golfer is the defending champion. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt to edge Saline’s Mike Ignasiak 1-up in last year’s championship match at the Muskegon Country Club.
“I’m trying to forget about all that,” Chapman said. “Last year was great. I certainly have fond memories. But I’m moving forward. Everybody starts from scratch (Monday). I’m not thinking of it in terms of defending anything. I need to play a couple good rounds just to get myself into match play and from there anything can happen. I’m proof of that last year.”
A year ago, Chapman tied for 30th in stroke play to advance to match play. En route to the title he had to beat stroke play medalist Tom Werkmeister, who was just coming off the Michigan Open championship.
Belvedere will be hosting the tournament for an unprecedented 40th time. A field of 156 golfers will play 18 holes of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday to determine the 64 players for match play. There will be two rounds of match play Wednesday through Friday.
“I’ve been up to Belvedere a couple times (this spring) — before Memorial Day and again last week,” Chapman said. “The course looks great. I really like it.”
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa pro Scott Hebert, who works with Chapman, anticipates the former University of Michigan golfer will be right in the thick of it.
“He’s ready,” Hebert said. “He should do quite well. It’s a good golf course for him. Andrew’s a big strong hitter and there’s room there.”
Chapman, a financial planner, said he’s not the only one who will enjoy the Belvedere, which has been lengthened to 6,870 yards in the last year. It will play to a par 70.