GAM CHAMPIONSHIP – Historic Muskegon Country Club Hosting 98th Edition Monday and Tuesday
MUSKEGON – Muskegon Country Club and its classic Donald Ross-designed golf course will host the top male golfers in the state for the 98th Golf Association of Michigan Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland Monday and Tuesday.
Defending champion James Piot of Canton and Michigan State University’s golf team returns to defend his title as part of a field of 84 golfers playing 54 holes over two days.
The Donald Ross-designed Muskegon Country Club course has hosted several GAM championships and USGA qualifiers, including the Michigan Amateur Championships of 2005 and 2013, the 2017 GAM Senior Championship and the 2018 GAM Women’s Championship. This is the first time it has hosted the GAM Championship for men.
The club was founded in 1908 on 130 acres of sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan and features rolling terrain and fescue lined fairways. It can play up to 6,697 yards from the back tees, and in Ross fashion features challenging green settings.
The course was originally laid out by noted designer Thomas Bendelow, but in 1920 was redesigned by Ross. In recent years the club has concentrated on removing some trees and returning the design to the original setting Ross intended.
Stephany Pawlowski is the director of golf at MCC, and Jeff Hopkins is the superintendent. Learn more at muskegoncc.com.
The GAM Championship, like Muskegon CC, has a rich history. It dates to 1919 with two years in which it wasn’t played during World War II. Past winners include Michigan golf legends like James Standish, Chuck Kocsis, Bud Stevens, Glenn Johnson and Pete Green.
This year’s field of golfers includes five past champions, including Piot, two-time winner Casey Baker of Novi (2005, 2010), 2015 champion Mitchell White of Muskegon, 2014 champion Ryan Johnson of New Boston and 2013 champion Scott Strickland of Bloomfield Hills.
The field will play two rounds on Monday and a closing round on Tuesday after a 36-hole cut Monday night to the low 30 scorers and ties.
The GAM Championship traditionally boasts as strong of a field as the Michigan Amateur Championship, in large part because non-exempt players must go through one of seven sectional qualifiers to earn a spot in the final field for the championship.
Last year, Piot shot a closing 2-under 69 at Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville to win the 97th GAM Championship. His 10-under 203 total, aided greatly by a pair of 67s on 36-hole day one, left him three shots ahead of defending champion Alex Scott of Traverse City who shot 69 for 206.
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, provides membership to almost 60,000 golfers and more than 450 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.