HARBOR SPRINGS, Michigan (August 29, 2014) – Tom Werkmeister won his sixth GAM Mid-Amateur Championship in the last seven years and shocked only himself.
The 46-year-old internet salesman from Kentwood topped Brad Bastion of Shelby Township on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff in the 32nd version of the championship for golfers over the age of 25 at Boyne Highlands Resort Friday.
“I’m totally shocked because I got off to a bad start today, and even though I birdied the last two holes I thought it was a couple shots too late,” he said after accepting the Glenn Johnson Trophy for the second consecutive year and sixth time since 2008.
Werkmeister birdied the final two holes of regulation play on the Arthur Hills Course to finish with an even-par 72 for a 141 total. Bastion also birdied the par 5 18th for a 72 and 141.
They played the same 18th hole to start the playoff, and both made par after Werkmeister missed a three-foot putt that would have won it. Then they played the 18th on the Donald Ross Memorial Course, and Werkmeister won with 2-putt par 4 after Bastion bladed a chip from off the front edge of the green and made bogey.
“This is huge for me, one because it gives me confidence for next week at the U.S. Mid-Amateur (Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.), and two since the (Michigan Golf Hall of Fame induction in May) my golf has not been sharp,” Werkmeister said. “Winning really helps. I kind of needed this for this year and for next week.”
Andrew Smith of Troy, the first-round leader, shot a closing 76 for 142 to just miss the playoff.
Anthony Sorentino of Rochester Hills, who shot 71, Nathan Clark of Charlotte, who shot 76, and Ken Hudson of Bloomfield Hills, who shot 74, tied for fourth at 144. Brett Hudson of Bloomfield Hills was next at 145 after a 74.
Bastion, a 29-year-old financial advisor who was the 2013 GAM Player of the Year, was 2 under early in his round, but had trouble on the back nine.
“I hit a couple of iron shots that are really uncharacteristic of me,” he said. “Just a couple of loose swings that caused a few bogeys, and I wasn’t really sure I was in the lead. I figured Tom would be right there. He usually is.”
He said he hit his approach shot on the final playoff hole off the toe.
“It didn’t cover the ground it should have, and then everybody saw me blade the chip,” he said. “Live and learn, I guess.”
Bastion, who started work with a new company this year and has only played in three tournaments, is also headed to Pennsylvania for the national Mid-Amateur.
“Even though I didn’t win this is a great warmup for next week,” he said. “It gives me confidence that I can play well, and I lost to a pretty solid golfer who will be out there too.”
Champions were also identified in other age groups with Greg Reynolds of Grand Blanc winning the senior title (age 55-plus) in a three-way playoff with Gene Gizzarelli and Ian Harris of Bloomfield Hills. Reynolds birdied the first playoff hole (No. 1 on the Ross) after shooting a final 74 for 147. Gizzarelli shot a 73 and Harris, the first-round leader, shot 77.
The Mid-Seniors title (45-plus) went to Ken Hudson, who tied for fourth overall (145).
And the Super Seniors title (65-plus) went to Al Riegel of Maple City, who shot 81 for 158.
Boyne Highlands hosted the championship for the 13th consecutive year and 17th time in the history of the event.
View results for Golf Association of Michigan Mid-Amateur Golf Championship