Industry News

U.S. Amateur champion highlights field at Island Resort Intercollegiate at Sage Run September 5-6

From Oakmont to the UP, U.S. Amateur champion James Piot returns to defend title in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Harris, Mich. — Island Resort & Casino announces the return of its annual Island Resort Intercollegiate at Sage Run September 5-6. The award-winning golf course in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will once again host some of the top collegiate players and teams from around the country and Michigan. This includes defending champion and current United States Amateur champion, James Piot from Michigan State University. 

The Canton, Michigan native just experienced the golfing thrill of a lifetime, surviving the grueling test of the United States Amateur at Oakmont Country Club. Piot made it all the way to the finals winning a tough 36-hole match versus Austin Greaser 2 and 1. He became the first Michigan born player to capture one of golf’s most treasured championships.

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The Island Resort Collegiate at Sage Run, a two-day, 54-hole stroke-play invitational will tee off next month with nine college teams competing on Sage Run’s 7,309-yard Paul Albanese design.

South Dakota State Director of Golf, Casey Van Damme, an Upper Peninsula native has been instrumental in organizing the tournament and bringing it to Sage Run. His squad will square off against Michigan State, Michigan, Detroit, University of Central Florida (UCF), Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State (MTSU), Bowling Green and University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Other top players joining Piot in the field include Johnny Travele-UCF, Alex Goff-Kentucky and Kevin Jegers-MTSU to name a few.

“We are very proud to be able to bring back top collegiate teams and players from around the country and continue our tradition of showcasing these great players on one of its top courses, Sage Run,” Tony Mancilla, Island Resort General Manager said. “We are also very excited to have the United States Amateur champion, James Piot, return to defend his title.”

“The course proved to be very challenging and popular among the players the last time we hosted the event in 2019 and we expect to see a lot of exciting shots throughout the course with its variety of short and long par 4’s and reachable par 5’s. It will be a fun challenge for all the players.”


Mancilla adds that bringing in alumni and families of the players and attracting local galleries and volunteers will be a great way to acquaint avid golfers with the beauty and natural setting of the region’s newest championship golf course. “We think once visitors see the course, they’re going to want to come back and play it for themselves.” Mancilla said.

Selected by Golf Digest as one of the “Best New” courses in the country, Sage Run features a variety of rugged terrain including a massive drumlin that course designer Albanese likens to Royal County Down, a Northern Ireland golf club rated among the World’s finest. The course meanders through scenic hardwoods and open areas with a variety of shot values, fun challenging green complexes, strategic bunkering, elevation changes and some great short par 4s featuring exciting shots toward the greens are among the challenges that the collegiate players will experience.  

“We are very excited to return to Island Resort and have these players and teams experience this fun and challenging venue once again. Sage Run is a different type of venue and has certainly evolved since the last time we played it,” said Van Damme. “It will be exciting to see how the players challenge the course this time. We prefer to see Sage Run play long and feature fast greens for this tournament. College players and teams want to separate and identify the best and they want to be challenged. Sage Run will certainly do that.”

For more information on the Island Resort Intercollegiate at Sage Run, visit

About Island Resort & Casino
Located in Michigan's scenic Upper Peninsula 13 miles west of Escanaba, Island Resort & Casino is one of the Midwest's largest golf, casino and entertainment resort destinations. The resort features over 300 guest rooms, more than 1,200 of the latest slots, a poker room, various gaming tables, a sportsbook and a bingo hall, two championship golf courses, the luxurious Drift Spa, an RV Park, a headline entertainment showroom, a customizable, expansive convention space and enough dining choices to please every palette. The growing popularity of golf and gaming at Island Resort has driven the demand for a $30 million expansion that will be completed in 2021. More than 100 new hotel rooms will be added, a high-end dining venue and convention space are also planned for the top floor, as well as a pool with water park features. The destination is easily accessible via two regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette connecting through Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing or Grand Rapids. 

For more information, visit

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