Steven Szymanski of Rochester Hills won the men’s division of the 13th Michigan Net Amateur, while Bob Tiltman of Clawson won the Senior Division.
The handicapped event was held at Polo Fields Golf and Country Club – Washtenaw (the old Washtenaw Country Club). The field consisted of 85 golfers—including 34 seniors—who advanced out of 175 who entered four qualifiers across the state. The Michigan Net Amateur consists of 36 holes of stroke play. Players needed to have a 20.4 or lower handicap to play in the 18 hole qualifiers.
Full press release follows:
Steven Szymanski of Rochester Hills, Bob Tiltman of Clawson Win Michigan Net Amateur Titles
YPSILANTI – Steven Szymanski of Rochester Hills finished first in the men’s division, and Bob Tiltman of Clawson won the senior division of the 13th Michigan Net Amateur Championship presented by Dick Scott Automotive Group Tuesday at Polo Fields Golf & Country Club – Washtenaw.
And both said the format of the net events gives golfers like them a chance to be champions.
“The net events let you, if you play your best, have a chance to win something,” Szymanski said. “If I played my best golf in the Michigan Amateur I would be lucky to qualify.”
Tiltman had to survive a three-hole aggregate score playoff with James Mlynarczyk of Northville where they each shot 1-over-par gross for the three holes. Tiltman was declared the winner because his handicap was .15 of one handicap stroke more (1.17 to 1.02) for holes No. 1 through 3 (playoff holes).
“It was tough for James to finish second by decimals because he played great across the back nine, but this is a net event, and that’s why they have handicaps,” he said. “I loved the competition. This format is perfect for my game, too. It gives me a chance.”
Szymanski, 51 and the CFO for KIRCO, a commercial real-estate firm in Troy, shot a gross 78 with six strokes for a 72 net in the final round. It gave him a two-day net total of 145, which was three shots better than Jeff Engler of Howell, who had an 82 gross for 72 to close at 148 net.
Hans Von Bernthal of West Bloomfield was third with a closing 80 for 75 and a net 150 total, and Mark Holowicki of Northville, Bill Ruane of Macomb and Jonathan Dean of Westland tied at 151.
In the senior division Tiltman, a 56-year-old dealer at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit, shot 79 gross for a net 72 and finished with a net 140. Mlynarczyk shot a closing 75 for a net 69 and his net 140 to force the playoff.
Jack Brown of Flint shot 81 for a net 69 and net total of 144 to take third among the senior set. Jack Germain, the defending champion from Ann Arbor, finished fourth among the seniors with a closing 85 for 73 and 146 net total.
Szymanski, who was playing in his fifth net amateur, said his nerves got to him on the finishing holes both days, but overall his short game saved him.
“I missed a lot of greens, but got up and down quite a bit,” he said. “I played with two good golfers in the final round, and being able to compete against them and track myself against them kept me going. It was fun. I love playing in these things. This is the best I’ve ever done.”
Tiltman said it was his first tournament win of any kind as an individual.
“I’ve won a few teams events, but never one like this and it feels great, fantastic,” he said. “The 75 I shot in the first round given the circumstances is my best golf. I was choking a little bit coming in today. James was playing fantastic on the back – he shot 35 on the back. I just happened to get in the playoff and win.”
A field of 85 golfers, including 34 in the senior division, advanced out of 175 entrants playing in four qualifiers across the state. They played 36 holes of stroke play, and entrants had to have a 20.4 index or lower to play in the 18-hole qualifiers.
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