Performance: Lakeview's Andrew Walker

June 27, 2016

Andrew Walker
Battle Creek Lakeview senior – Golf

Walker finished his high school career June 11 with his second straight MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals championship, shooting a two-day (68-75) 143 and then edging Plymouth’s Jack Boczar in a one-hole playoff at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University to earn the Michigan National Guard “Performance of the Week” for June 6-12.

Walker then was named Mr. Golf for the third straight season by the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association, and since has qualified to return for the second straight summer to the U.S. Junior Amateur, which this year will be played July 18-23 at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. (He also played in the U.S. Amateur as a 14-year-old in 2013, becoming one of the youngest players ever to tee up at the prestigious event.) Walker this spring became the only player in the 16-year history of the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference to win the individual league championship all four seasons, and he shot par or better in 14 of his 20 rounds. Lakeview finished sixth as a team at the MHSAA Final and won the title when Walker was a freshman in 2013.

Boasting a grade-point average above 4.0 and among the top 10 in his class at Lakeview, Walker picked Michigan State University over Duke, Michigan, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, among others. He followed his brother Filmore Walker IV, also a former high school golf standout, at Lakeview, and the influence of his father Filmore III and godfather and uncle, Gene Hughes, in wearing the straw hat that has become something of a stylistic signature as Andrew has succeeded on the state and nationwide levels. Walker also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore. 

Coach Tony Evans said: "I have known Andrew since he was little because his older brother played for me. Andrew was playing in high-level tournaments at an early age, and everyone expected him to be not only one of the best Michigan players, but one of the best in the nation. There are two things that stand out to me when it comes to Andrew Walker: One is that fact that he was able to handle all of the external and internal pressure and fulfill the expectations that were placed on him by others. The second is the respect that I have for him as a person. Andrew is not only a brilliant student, 4.12 GPA and a 31 on the ACT, he is a kind, funny, and respectful young man. It has been such a pleasure to watch him grow into an honorable young man who has represented our community with utmost integrity. Andrew Walker is not only one of the best high school golfers in Michigan, but one of the best in the nation as well. I can honestly say that Andrew Walker is a better person than he is a golfer. It has been my pleasure and honor to be his coach over the past four years."

Performance Point: (High school golf) meant a ton to me. I can’t really put into words what it meant to me, actually. It’s a great honor to say what I’ve done, and I’m thankful to the people who helped me get through that journey along the way, teammates, coaches, family, friends – whoever they are, they all helped. It definitely was a big part of my golfing career, definitely a big part of my life. I’m glad to say how big a part of me it became; I had some of the best times of my life with the five or six other guys. Looking back it’s really amazing, everything we’ve done, everything I’ve accomplished with those guys.”

Breaking the tie: “We’ve (Walker and Boczar) known each other quite a long time, played a bunch of junior tournaments together. I made it a little more stressful in the second round than I wanted, but it was a ton of fun. Playoffs always pressure-wise are a step above regular competition for me; there’s no time to make up for any mistakes you make, and it demands your best. … Jack told me (after), ‘Congratulations,’ and I was like, ‘Thanks buddy. They was great, a ton of fun.’”

Big brother knows: “I picked up quite a few things from my brother. Definitely work ethic was one of those things. Whenever he was off, he’d start to work on it, and that’s a big thing – don’t get upset or anything, just work on it … go out and fix it. Patience is another thing. Growing up playing golf, I was not a patient kid when I wasn’t playing well. My big brother was a person who helped me grasp the concept that you’ll not always have your game, but be patient, wait for it and do the best with what you have that day.”  

Picking up from the pros: “I look to different people for different aspects of the game. I look at Jordan Spieth, he’s one of the better players in the world, and his putting. … I look at a player like Zach Johnson; his wedge game is phenomenal. My game is my game. I won’t and don’t play like any other player; I play like me. But that’s definitely something I look out for, tips and stuff to help improve different aspects, playing-wise and strategy-wise, and I try to make them my own."

Making a connection: “I’m planning on studying applied engineering sciences … and I’m definitely looking into supply chain management. My dad worked as vice president of the Asia Pacific supply chain for Kellogg’s for a while, and that showed me a bit about that and how it all works. I’m a math/science geek, so it goes with what I want to do.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2015-16 honorees
June 8: Sekayi Bracey, East Kentwood girls track & field - Read
June 1: Anna Jefferson, Oak Park girls track & field - Read
May 25: Connor Bandel, Oxford boys track & field - Read 
May 18: Kalyn Breckenridge, Birch Run girls soccer - Read 
May 11: Morgan Beadlescomb, Algonac boys track & field - Read
May 4: Abby Krzywiecki, Farmington Hills Mercy softball - Read
April 27: Mike Mokma, Holland Christian baseball - Read
April 20: Abby Divozzo, Cadillac girls soccer - Read
March 30: Cassius Winston, Detroit U-D Jesuit boys basketball - Read
March 23: Kierra Fletcher, Warren Cousino girls basketball - Read
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read 
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Andrew Walker watches one of his shots during the MHSAA LP Division 1 Final at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University. (Middle) Walker (right) and Plymouth's Jack Boczar shake hands after Walker won a one-hole playoff to clinch the individual title. (Click to see more from

Houghton Boys Extend Reign, Negaunee's Meyer Wins With 'Round of My Life'

By Jack Hall
Special for

May 31, 2023

HARRIS – The Houghton High School boys golf team cruised to a repeat of its 2022 MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 championship Wednesday, while a newcomer “came out of nowhere” to win the individual medalist honor.

The Gremlins took the top spot in the 12-team tournament by six strokes over runner-up Sault Ste. Marie, with Marquette, Calumet, and Negaunee in a three-way tie for third place. The Gremlins had a score of 323, the Blue Devils were second with 329, with the next three in that logjam at 331.

It was a remarkable accomplishment for the Gremlins, who had to deal with heavy snow on the ground deep into May this spring.

“It feels great,” Houghton senior Cam Markham said. “Amazing. Two years in a row that we've done this. It's a huge accomplishment. Just practicing when you can, even it's in the gym, hitting balls into nets. Getting better when you can. There's simulators at some local places around town, so we'll go to those, too, when there's snow on the ground.”

Individually, Negaunee sophomore Holden Meyer shot 75 on the challenging Sweetgrass Golf Course in northern Menominee County to take an unlikely medalist spot.

“I feel like I'm out of this world right now, I'm not gonna lie,” he said. “The course is in good shape, everything is really nice. I didn't think this was going to happen on any course. I played basically the round of my life.”

Negaunee’s Holden Meyer.So, how did Meyer do it?

“I kept the ball on the fairway all day,” Meyer said. “The sand traps are really hard here, so I tried to stay out of that. I only hit one of them all day, so that was a really big help.”

He held on by one stroke when Marquette senior Brock Taylor missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have forced a playoff round.

“Early on in the day, I was playing OK, but then I had a couple of hiccups,” Taylor said. “I was able to bring it back together at the end. But, I missed it by just that much.

“I've kind of struggled, so I'm happy with the way I played today. Our team has been rock-solid all year long. But for me, man, couple of missed putts, couple of dumb decisions, and that was the difference."

Houghton junior Marino Pisani and freshman teammate Jack Sayen finished tied for fourth place after shooting rounds of 80.

In fact, there were a total of seven golfers who finished at 80, also including Kaleb Chiplewski (Marquette), Danny Loukus (Calumet), Odin Medrick (Sault Ste. Marie), Cooper Pigeon (Iron Mountain) and Nicklas Duran (Kingsford).

Markham was in contention until the bottom dropped out late in the round. He settled for a 19th-place finish after shooting an 82.

“I couldn't pull through at the end, just really struggled on those last four holes.” said Markham, who's main sport is hockey – he was named Mr. Hockey as the state's top high school player in March.

Beyond that seven-way tie for fourth place at 80, there was another eight-way tie for eleventh place at 81. That's 15 golfers with virtually the same score.

Junior Shane Wallin led Escanaba, finishing with an 81.

Marquette’s Brock Taylor follows a drive.“It wasn't bad,” Wallin said. “A couple of three-putts, but it went well. On No. 18, I hit a 4-iron and missed an eagle putt but got a birdie. So that was good.

“We didn't do horrible. I wish we would've won a couple of the other tournaments that we went to. They were really close with Marquette. But we had a good season.”

Westwood sophomore Tanner Annala was able to avoid that 15-golfer logjam at 80 and 81 by finishing his round with a 79, good for third place overall.

There were some moral victories, too. Take Gladstone senior Austin Bagwell, who played baseball for the last three seasons and chose golf this time. While he finished 55th out of the 61 golfers on the course Wednesday, he said it went well.

“I think we all had fun,” Bagwell said. “I parred my first-ever hole at Sweetgrass, so that was pretty cool. Everything went downhill from there.”

One of the smallest schools in Division 1, Baraga, ended up in eighth place with a 349 as a team score. The co-op with L'Anse High School puts the Vikings over the 264-student cutoff that divides Division 1 and Division 2.

“I can play with a lot of these kids,” said Baraga junior Cage Osterman, who was among those tied for 11th with an 81. “A lot of them are really good, too. I felt good, I just missed a couple of shots. My driving was good. I only missed two fairways today. I just couldn't putt. The short game was not there today.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Houghton’s Marino Pisani lines up a putt during his round Wednesday at Sweetgrass. (Middle) Negaunee’s Holden Meyer. (Below) Marquette’s Brock Taylor follows a drive. (Photos by Jack Hall.)