Strickland Wins GAM Mid-Amateur Championship
GREAT SCOTT: Strickland’s Birdie-Birdie Finish Lands Him Mid-Amateur Championship
HARBOR SPRINGS – Scott Strickland of Bloomfield Village finished birdie-birdie to catch and pass Brad Bastion of Shelby Township and win the 36th GAM Mid-Amateur Championship presented by OmniKinetics Thursday at Boyne Highland’s Resort.
“This has always been one that I really wanted to win,” he said after shooting a closing 3-under 68 the Moor course for a 5-under tournament total. “I love Boyne and I love coming up north. It is a great group of guys and a fun tournament, and I feel very fortunate to have closed it out.”
Bastion shot 69 to close for 137 and second place.
“I was down three shots with three to play, but Brad hit his tee shot in a hazard and made double-bogey while I made par,” said Strickland, a 36-year-old vice-president at Morgan Stanley in Birmingham. “Then I finished birdie-birdie. To do that on this golf course under the circumstances to win is pretty special. It feels great. I have been close. It was a tough finish for Brad. I finished second a few years ago to Tom Werkmeister. I remember I shot a 66 and thought I had done something, but he came in with a low round, too.”
A field of 165 golfers played the Heather and Moor courses over two days. Including Strickland winning the overall championship, winners were crowned in four age categories (Mid-Amateur age 25-and-over, Mid-Seniors 45-and-over, Seniors 55-and-over and Super Seniors 65-and-over).
Michael Anderson of Northville bested the Mid-Seniors group with a closing 71 for 142, which also placed him third overall. Bob Papp of Trenton, who shot 69, and Ken Hudson of Bloomfield Hills, who shot 70 finished at 143 in the Mid-Seniors, second to Anderson and tied for fourth overall.
“This is my first GAM win,” said Anderson a 48-year-old financial advisor. “I haven’t played a lot of competitive golf in the last 20 years, and I’m starting to play a little bit more. It’s great to win. I played well. It is a difficult golf course. I wasn’t familiar with it, so I played pretty conservatively. All these guys are such good players. It’s nice to come out on top.”
Jim Lewis of Novi won the Seniors title with a closing 72 on the Heather course for 146. It gave the 61-year-old retired auto parts wholesaler a three-shot win over Greg Zeller of Jackson, who shot 76 for 149.
Lewis said he has been fortunate to play the Heather course many times over the years, and his “local knowledge” helped.
“Tough greens,” he said. “Someone said you will never read the greens. The only thing you can do is memorize them. So over a period of years I’ve done a pretty good job of memorizing some of the putts out there. This is my first GAM win. It means a tremendous amount to me. I love the Golf Association of Michigan and to win one of their tournaments is a tremendous honor.”
Tom Rex Jr. of Charlevoix had to go three sudden-death playoff holes to top Mike Fedewa and win the Super Seniors. Rex, who will be 66 in a few days, shot a closing 71 for 150. Fedewa closed with a 74 for his 150. Rex finally won on the third playoff hole with a par.
“It’s just wonderful to win,” he said. “This summer I haven’t played very well and I didn’t feel good about my golf coming into this tournament, but you know I turned it around today. That’s golf. It’s bad one day, and good the next. This was one of those good days. It was a fun day for me.”
SCORES: Find them under the championships tab at gam.org
via Greg Johnson