Bill Zylstra Wins GAM Senior Match Play Championship for the Third Time
BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Bill Zylstra thought he might enter the 10th GAM Senior Match Play Championship presented by Sullivan Golf Travel and play in the Super Senior category for those over age 65 for the first time.
“I didn’t think this was possible to win it again, but I thought, let’s give it one more try,” the 66-year-old Dearborn Heights resident said after his try turned into a championship match win over Mitch Wilson of Portage in 20 holes Friday at Forest Lake Country Club.
“That was a tough, tough match, and it’s a long week,” he said. “Not only that, this was a great field, so I feel great about winning. Go down the list, a lot of great players like Mitch. It means something to win this.”
Pete Saputo of Bloomfield Hills emerged the winner in the Super Senior category. He outlasted Mike Fedewa of Canton 1-up.
“It is a lot more fun to win than it is to lose,” said the 75-year-old retired real-estate developer. “Mike Fedewa is a great competitor and a gentleman. I was very lucky to prevail today.”
Zylstra, retired from several roles in the golf industry, won the overall championship for the third time to go with back-to-back wins in 2009 and ’10. He emerged with the victory when Wilson, the champion in 2015, missed a five-foot par putt on the second extra hole.
“I feel real fortunate,” Zylstra said. “Oh man, Mitch had me 2-down and I had about a 15-footer for a tie on the seventh hole and I made it. Then I won a few holes in a row and got back into it. I tell you what, up until then I was hitting a lot of bad shots.”
Zylstra said he is going to savor the win.
“This might be the last one,” he said. “This might have been the first winter in a long time I didn’t win anything in Florida. I’m still hitting some good shots and bad shots, but hitting more bad shots all the time. I will go until I can’t, and then I will know. It’s getting closer.”
Saputo went 1-up in the Super Senior final at No. 17 with a par while Fedewa made bogey.
“It was close all the way,” Saputo said. “I played pretty solid today, as did Mike. It was a good match. I think we were both right around par, maybe a little under.”
A field of 110 seniors and 47 super seniors played in the five-day championship.
via Greg Johnson