First-Time Player Tom Hollandsworth of Chelsea Wins GAM Net Match Play Championship
ANN ARBOR – First Tom Hollandsworth of Chelsea just wanted to qualify for the match play bracket.
That accomplished, he wanted to survive the first match and the first day of play.
That accomplished, he just wanted to keep going.
He did, all the way to the end, turning back Rich Dalimonte of Orchard Lake 3 and 2 in the final match to win the 6th GAM Net Match Play Championship presented by Michigan Golf Live Wednesday at The Polo Fields Golf & Country Club Ann Arbor.
“I love the way it was set up, first stroke play, then match play and the course was so tough with fast greens and the wind today made it really difficult,” said the 56-year-old printing company owner. “I played six rounds in three days, and I’m not used to that. I was just out there grinding.”
Hollandsworth, playing with a 6 handicap for the tournament, never trailed in the championship match. Dalimonte, playing with a 13 handicap, erased four 1-up leads on the front nine alone, but with a birdie at the par 5 No. 11 hole Hollandsworth took a 2-up lead and was 3-up through 13 holes.
“I kept trying to claw back, and I felt like I was getting on a role again right there at the end when I got back to 2-down at 15,” said Dalimonte, a 48-year-old business development manager who had hip replacement surgery six months ago. “He made a great birdie from the bunker (greenside) though at 16, hitting his (sand) shot to about two feet when I had a shot in there about five feet for birdie. I just missed it, and then he made his obviously.
“He’s a really good player. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and I could never get in front. I didn’t have any pain. I feel 100 percent. My hip was never an issue. I think he only really had one bad hole, and I didn’t take advantage of the shots I was getting on a few holes.”
Hollandsworth, who was playing in his first GAM championship, said he is planning to try more, especially the net events.
“I have played in some tournaments around Jackson, and things like that, but this was really great,” he said. “It had that great tournament feel with rules officials, the course conditions, and the great competition. I can’t believe I won it. I really had no idea what to expect when the week started.”
On his way to the final Hollandsworth, the No. 4 seed, beat Harold Tramski of Port Huron 4 and 2, then topped Michael McHale of Macomb Township 3 and 2, then beat Michael Lam of Northville 2-up before topping Mark Mann of Ann Arbor 5 and 4 in Wednesday morning’s semifinal match.
Dalimonte, the No. 6 seed, reached the final by beating Justin McPhail of Fenton 3 and 1, topping Matt Magnotte of Macomb Township 1-up, beating James Moline of Northville 2 and 1 and holding off Angelo Fileccia of Brownstown 2 and 1 in the semifinals.
The Polo Fields hosted 82 golfers over the three days. Each golfer had a handicap index of 20.4 or lower in the net competition.
via Greg Johnson