PLAYING TO WIN: Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll Adds GAM Women’s Senior Championship
PETOSKEY – Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, the winningest golfer in Golf Association of Michigan history, won the GAM Women’s Senior Championship on her first attempt with her usual sense of purpose.
“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the state Amateur, the U.S. Senior Amateur or the senior state championship, it’s all competition and there are people here playing to win,” she said after shooting a final 5-over 77 for a tournament total 149 and a four-shot win Tuesday in the championship presented by Summit Golf Brands at Petoskey-Bay View Country Club.
“And as long as you put yourself in that realm, and you know there are people chasing you or you are chasing them, then you’re going to have the exhilaration and the nerves and what you feel inside when you compete. I hope to continue to compete for the rest of my life, at least as long as I can.”
The highly successful women’s golf coach at Michigan State University and member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame made six birdies in a first-round 72 Monday and then battled wind, light rain and a tough day putting Tuesday.
“I didn’t putt very well and feel like I misread some greens,” she said. “The greens are tough and I hit some bad shots, too. It was super windy early and I did my best to grind it out.”
Julie Massa of Holt, a two-time past champion and the top senior player in Michigan in recent years, shot a closing 75 for 153 but never was closer than four shots in the final round.
Lori Schlicher of Lewiston shot 79 for 157 and third place, and three-time champion and defending champion Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc shot 80 for 159 and fourth.
For Slobodnik-Stoll it was the 17th individual title she has won in GAM competition, including two Michigan Women’s Amateur titles, a GAM Championship, an unprecedented 11 GAM Women’s Mid-Amateur wins and three GAM Tournament of Champions wins. She totals 22 GAM titles when two-golfer team titles are added.
“Winning is always fun, but for me right now it’s more what I’ve learned from this summer playing in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and winning this,” she said after accepting the Sara Wold Trophy.
“I think if I really applied a little more time to my game, then I have a chance to compete at a higher level, qualify for a U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Those are the kind of things motivating me right now.”
She said she has always found value in keeping her game at a high level.
“Going home with this (Sara Wold Trophy) is one thing, and next weekend I’m taking my team up north and I’m going to compete against them,” she said. “I think those kind of things have helped keep me feeling young. I’m still trying to compete against a team of 22-year-olds who are some of the best players in the world.”