Hot Back Nine Lifts St. Clair Shore’s John Quigley to 2017 GAM Mid-Amateur Championship
HARBOR SPRINGS – John Quigley of St. Clair Shore has made a summer of less golf equal more.
The 33-year-old strategist for Blue Cross Blue Shield shot a closing 3-under 69 on the Moor course for 141 and a four-shot win in the 35th GAM Mid-Amateur Championship presented by OmniKinetics at Boyne Highlands Resort Friday.
It was the first GAM title for Quigley, who was a runner-up in the Mid-Amateur in 2015 to three-time champion Anthony Sorentino of Rochester in a playoff. Earlier this summer Quigley was the winner of the Michigan Publinx Match Play Championship.
“It has been a good summer,” he said. “It feels great. This is my first GAM trophy, so pleased for that. I wondered if I was going to be able to break through for one, and this is a good one to do it.”
Quigley started the final round three shots behind first-round leader Nathan Clark of Charlotte, who had opened Thursday with a 68. After nine holes in the final round both were 1-over-par, but then Quigley started making birdies as Clark struggled.
“I made four birdies on the back nine and shot 32 coming in,” Quigley said. “When I realized it was just me and Nate it kind of turned into match play, and that has been a format I’m comfortable with this year.”
Quigley, who has played less golf this summer than normal and spent more time playing tennis with his son, said he didn’t really have a lot of expectations starting the final round.
“I knew Nathan was a great player, and a bunch of guys who are great players were up there or right with me,” he said. “I guess maybe not spending that much time on the game has taken some of the pressure to play well off of me. I have excuses and they are legit ones like not practicing, or playing much. Maybe that has just freed me up and I’m playing well.”
Clark finished with a final-round 77 for 145. He tied with Jeff Champine of Rochester Hills, who shot 72. Clark was declared the runner-up in the Mid-Amateur because Champine at age 45 was the winner of the Mid-Seniors title at 45-and-over.
A field of 170 golfers played over the two days on the Moor and Heather courses, and winners were identified in the Mid-Amateurs (age 25-and-over), Mid-Seniors (45-and-over), Seniors (55-and-over) and Super Seniors (65-and-over) divisions.
Joining Quigley and Champine as winners were Senior champion Randy Lewis of Alma and Super Senior champion Pete Saputo of Bloomfield Hills.
Lewis shot a closing 71 on the Heather course for 144 and a one-shot win over Steve Maddalena of Jackson, who shot 71 for 145.
Saputo closed the Super Senior competition with a 73 on the Heather for 149. Jim Russell of Stevensville was second with an 80 for 158.
Ken Hudson shot a closing 68 for 148 to finish second to Champine in the Mid-Seniors.
Boyne Highlands hosted the championship for the 16th consecutive year and 20th time in the history of the event.
COMPLETE RESULTS: Available at gam.org under the Champions tab.