BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (Aug. 6, 2013) – Scott Strickland started his final round with an eagle and birdie and then blitzed to a six-shot win Tuesday with a 8-under-par 64 at Birmingham Country Club in the 92nd GAM Championship presented by Carl’s Golfland.
“It was one of those things where every shot you hit is kind of on line and you just visualize and the confidence seems to build and build,” said the 30-year-old Birmingham resident and wealth manager for Morgan Stanley.
Strickland just missed an eagle putt on the par 5 No. 18 hole to fall short of the course record by one shot, but was elated with his first major amateur title.
“It feels really good, for sure. I’ve known I had it in me. It was just a matter of executing and doing it. I feel like I’ve been close for a long time. Today it just kind of came all together.”
Strickland, a member of Oakland Hills Country Club and Bloomfield Hills Country Club, worked with Oakland Hills caddie David Enderby, and finished with a 54-hole total of 208, six better than the 214 posted by Casey Baker of Ann Arbor, who shot a closing 71.
Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood, the Michigan Open champion earlier this summer, shot 70 and finished third at 215. Jeff Champine of Rochester Hills, who shot 75 for 216, and Anthony Sorentino of Rochester Hills, who shot 76 for 217, rounded out the top five. Six golfers, including defending champion Jared Dalga, tied at 218.
Baker, a two-time GAM champion and Carl’s Golfland employee who played in the same group as Strickland, said it was one of the best rounds of golf he has witnessed.
“From start to finish every shot he hit was dead solid,” Baker said. “He played great. He drove it straight, hit it straight. I thought I still had a chance after I birdied 10 and 12, but he kept making birdies and at that point it was get out of his way and let him do his thing.”
Strickland, a former Miami (Ohio) golfer, said it was the biggest win of his golf career, and the first non-country club championship title since junior golf. The closing 64 with one eagle and seven birdies against one bogey tied his competitive best ever. He shot 64 at Oakland Hills North in winning the club championship in 2012.
“I made eagle at (No.) 1 when the (second shot) landed short of the green and jumped over the bunker and rolled up to a foot,” he said. “That’s always a good way to start. Then I made a good birdie at 2 with a tap-in. I hit (the second shot) to less than a foot.
“Then I just tried to stay focused and only think about the target and not worry about the score. I really didn’t know what I shot until I was done.”
View results for Golf Association of Michigan Championship Golf Tournament