Traverse City’s Alex Scott Storms the Field to Win 96th GAM Championship
ANN ARBOR – Traverse City’s Alex Scott called it the perfect storm right after he stormed the field in the 96th GAM Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland at Barton Hills Country Club Tuesday.
The Grand Valley State University golfer shot a 3-under 67, the lowest round of the day, for a 4-under 207 tournament total and a seven-shot win over Ferris State University golfer Jack Weller of Swartz Creek. It was the first state title for Scott, who earlier this summer also won the Kent County Amateur in Grand Rapids.
“I knew the course was tough and everybody else was going backwards so I took deep breaths, played it a little to be safe but did my routine, picked my lines and committed to the shot and hit good shots,” he said. “I haven’t always done that before, but I did it today. It was a perfect storm and it was nice.’
Weller, who is headed to the U.S. Amateur next week, shot a closing 72 for 213 and second, and 2013 champion Scott Strickland of Birmingham shot a final 68 for 214.
Mike Ignasiak of Saline, who shot 72 for 215, and defending champion Tom Werkmeister of Grandville, who shot 75 for 216, rounded out the top five.
Donnie Trosper of Canton and the University of Central Florida, the leader starting the day, faltered early and by the seventh hole Scott realized he was likely in the lead.
“I figured I was going to have to chase Donnie because I played with him in a U.S. Amateur qualifier just a week and a half ago and he was amazing,” Scott said. “It just wasn’t his day today, and that’s golf. I knew I was leading in my group by seven, but I didn’t see the sign bearer for the group in front of us until (hole) 12. Then I saw I had the lead on Jack Weller and Tom Werkmeister. I was in a good spot, but not safe and I just stuck to playing my game and made some good pars and good shots coming in.”
Scott said his first state title means a great deal to him.
“I hope to take golf beyond college and make it a profession, and I’m such a competitor and hate to lose, and in golf losing happens all the time,” he said. “The best in the world win like five percent of the time. I know all of that, but the nagging thing is not winning, finishing second, losing in playoffs, those kinds of things keep you going. I’ve taken too many seconds. This means so much. I finally got healthy (back injury) and I put in the hours. It’s hard in golf to see the work pay off, but this summer has been good to me.”
Weller, who is a good friend while also playing for rival Ferris State, said every time he turned around during the final round Scott seemed solidly in the lead.
“I knew if I was going to have a chance I was going to have to make more birdies, but I kept making pars,” he said. “When I did make a birdie, I followed it with a bogey. And Alex played great. It’s always fun if somebody else has to win to see it be somebody that is a good friend.”
Scott said if felt good to make his family, teammates and friends happy by taking home the K.T. Keller Trophy.
“It’s not that I felt I was under-achieving, but I wanted to win something like Scott Hebert (PGA professional at Traverse City Golf & Country Club), my teacher, my idol and really a role model in life to me,” he said. “I didn’t hit it really well yesterday, but kept the ball in good spots and gave myself a chance to win today. I made some people happy including myself.”
RESULTS: Available at gam.org under the championships tab
Via Greg Johnson