Golf Association of Michigan Player of the Year: Tom Werkmeister

Tom Werkmeister
Tom Werkmeister, 2016 Golf Association of Michigan POY

 

Golf Association of Michigan Player of the Year: Tom Werkmeister is Top Men’s Player for Fifth Time

FARMINGTON HILLS – Tom Werkmeister, the Golf Association of Michigan’s top amateur for the fifth time, said his great summer of golf has helped him decide to turn professional at age 50 in March of 2018.

The 48-year-old Grandville resident and Sunnybrook Country Club member is the Golf Association of Michigan Men’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann, senior director of rules and competitions for the GAM announced today.

“I feel I’ve accomplished the things I want as an amateur and I feel like I have to pursue professional golf in some way when I turn 50,” Werkmeister said. “I don’t want to feel one day I missed an opportunity. That, right now, is the plan.”

Over the next few weeks the GAM will also announce five more players of the year (women, senior men, senior women, junior boys, and junior girls) for 2016. The winners will receive their awards in the spring at the GAM’s annual meeting for 2017. Honorees are determined based on the GAM Honor Roll, which awards points for tournament accomplishments.

Werkmeister, who was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2014, said being GAM Player of the Year for the fifth time is special.

“Being Player of the Year is always one of my goals because it means I had a really good year,” he said. “There are so many good players in the state, and some great young college players who are so tough to compete against.”

Werkmeister finished atop the GAM Honor Roll with 950 points highlighted by being qualifying medalist and reaching the round of 16 in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on the national level, and winning the GAM Championship on the local level. In addition, he was co-medalist while leading the GAM’s Team Michigan to the national championship in the USGA State Team Championship.

Nick Carlson, a University of Michigan golfer from Hamilton, was second with 775 points highlighted by his dramatic runner-up finish in the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club.

Scott Strickland of Birmingham and Oakland Hills, Evan Bowser of Dearborn and Dearborn Country Club, and Michigan Amateur Champion and Michigan State University golfer Sam Weatherhead of Grand Rapids and Forest Akers Golf Course rounded out the top five. The complete honor roll can be found at gam.org.

“Tom has goals, almost like a bucket list of what he wants to win, and not just to accumulate trophies, but to knock more off the list of things he wants to accomplish in golf,” Hartmann said in making the announcement.

“The most I’ve been able to watch him play was this year at the USGA State Team Championship and it was very impressive. He rarely misses a shot, and if he does he gets it up and down. He’s very solid, very accurate and despite his age, he doesn’t look like he is losing a thing, which makes it even more impressive.”

Werkmeister, who won the Michigan Amateur in 2009, was the first amateur since 1975 to win the Michigan Open in 2013 and is a six-time GAM Mid-Amateur Champion said winning his first GAM Championship at Barton Hills Country Club this summer was an instrument of change for him.

“It changed everything for the season because it catapulted me on to a great rest of the summer and it added the only championship in the state that I really felt I was missing from my amateur career,” said the salesman for MCS Marketing in Grand Rapids. “It also changed my view of the future for my golf and my life. I went on a great run the rest of the summer, proved things to myself and helped me decide to try professional golf.”

Werkmeister said he will set about seeking sponsorship support for when he turns professional, and plans to compete as an amateur in 2017.

“In amateur golf the senior championships start at age 55 and I can always come back if that’s how things work out or don’t work out,” he said. “What the GAM does for the amateur golfer in this state is incredible. Playing in West Michigan and playing in GAM championships means a lot to me and my family. It has given me this opportunity.”

ABOUT THE GAM: Founded in 1919, the Golf Association of Michigan is the governing body for amateur golf in the state. As a not-for-profit organization, the GAM’s purpose is to promote, preserve and serve the game of golf. The GAM, served by over 250 dedicated volunteers as well as nine full-time staff, provides membership to almost 60,000 golfers and more than 470 Michigan golf courses, conducts over 30 amateur championships, oversees 18 USGA qualifying events, administers the GAM/USGA Handicap System and measures and rates almost 70 courses a year for the USGA. Learn more at www.gam.org.

 

via Greg Johnson

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