2016 Match Play: Cunningham wins his second event of the year; Mastin repeats as Senior champ

OKEMOS – Russ Cunningham continued his Greater Lansing Amateur Golf Association winning ways on Sunday, June 12, with a wire-to-wire victory in the Jersey Giant Match Play at College Fields.

Cunningham, who earlier this season won the Lansing State Journal Spring Medal at The Emerald, defeated Brian Antioch, 4 and 3, to win the Match Play Open championship title for the first time since 2008. Cunningham started the day by defeating Josh Szedlak in the semifinals, 5 and 4.

In his typical low-key fashion Cunningham mentioned he’d like to sweep all three “majors” on the GLAGA circuit, with the All City Championship (Aug. 5-7 at Forest Akers) being the third jewel of the triple crown.

Cunningham shot a 2-under-par 69 Saturday morning to lead all stroke play qualifiers. He defeated Matt Forell, 6 and 5, in the quarterfinals of match play Saturday afternoon amid warm and windy conditions.

Antioch advanced to the finals with victories over Christian Richard (1-up) and Dean Holland (3 and 2). Richard shot 76 in the qualifying round.

Meanwhile, Randy Mastin secured his second straight Senior Match Play title with a 1-up victory over Gray Tuttle. The victory was Mastin’s third straight in GLAGA match play: he defeated Scott Savage in the 2015 final at Groesbeck, and he and partner Larry Meirndorf won the Rehmann Team Match play last July at Eagle Eye.

Tuttle, who three-putted for par at the 18th green, complimented his conqueror.

“Not the way you want to lose a match but let’s give credit to Randy for another fine effort,” said Tuttle, who won the Senior Match Play at Groesbeck in 2014 and at College Fields in ’09.

Mastin, who shot 75 in the Saturday morning stroke play round, defeated Craig Bidelman (4 and 3) and Andy Garza (7 and 6) to reach the finals. Tuttle won a tight quarterfinal match, 1-up over Edson Borges, then disposed of Scott Savage, 7 and 6, in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Chip Solomon won his third career Match Play title with a 3 and 2 victory over Doug Burt in the Senior 1st Flight finals. Ahead by four at one point, Burt said “not only did I not close the door, but I also couldn’t find the key.”

Solomon reached the finals with a 2-up victory over Gordie Shepherd. Burt won his semifinal match, 3 and 1 over Nick Bellows.

In the Open 1st Flight finals, Kyle Peters defeated Craig Durham on the first playoff hole. Durham handed the same fate to Connor Shantz in the semifinals while Peters advanced with a 5 and 4 victory over Kyle Peake.

In the Open 2nd Flight finals, Marco Trevino edged Matthew Meyer, 2 and 1. Trevino defeated Brian Simpson, 3 and 2, in the semifinals; Meyer won his semifinal match, 8 and 6, over Effort Nedziwe.

The next events on the GLAGA calendar are the Rehmann Team Match at Hawk Hollow and Eagle Eye on July 16-17, followed by the All City Championship, Aug. 5-7, at Forest Akers. Registration details are at www.glaga.org.