MSU golfer James Piot becomes first-ever Michigander to win U.S Amateur Championship


MSU golfer James Piot prepares to make a putt during a tournament/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Sports Broadcast Director

EAST LANSING— Michigan State, and more specifically James Piot, are the 2021 U.S. Amateur Champions.

Piot, a native of Canton, Michigan, defeated Austin Greaser, a UNC player, for the title on Sunday afternoon at the Oakmont Country Club (Oakmont, Pennsylvania). Despite falling behind by three strokes after 27 holes on Sunday, Piot won five out of the last six holes, including four straight wins, against Greaser to take the lead once and for all.

After holding the slim advantage over Greaser at the 35th hole, Piot sank a putt for par, forcing Greaser to try and extend the match by sinking a birdie. His shot just missed, giving Piot the distinction of being the first-ever Michigander, in addition to the first-ever Spartan, to win the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Through his first five matches, Piot trailed Greaser, but he began to mount a comeback after netting a birdie on the 28th hole, which knocked the deficit down to only two strokes. Subsequent wins on the 29th and 30th hole allowed Piot to draw even. A bogey by Greaser on the 33rd hole gave Piot the eventual two-shot lead that he would not relinquish.

By virtue of winning the tournament, Greaser has been automatically enrolled in the 2022 U.S Open as well as the 2022 Open Championship in Scotland. He is also expected to receive an invitation to compete in the 2022 Masters tournament.

Several elite golfers, including Tiger Woods (1994, 1995, 1996), Jack Nicklaus (1959), Bryson DeChambeau (2015) and Phil Mickelson (1990) have each won the U.S. Amateur Championship in the past.

Before winning the U.S Amateur Championship, Piot was named as the 2018 Big Ten Freshman of the Year after competing in all 12 tournaments and recording four top-20 finishes. He was also named a first-team All-Big Ten selection during the 2018-19 season and a second-team All-Big Ten selection during the 2019-20 season. In addition to being named an Academic All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore and junior, Piot won his first two career tournaments during his junior year.