Maryland Senior: Tom Grem wins by one
Tom Grem (R) after Maryland Senior Amateur title <br>(Maryland Golf Association Photo)
Tom Grem (R) after Maryland Senior Amateur title
(Maryland Golf Association Photo)
PHOENIX, AZ (September 14, 2016) -- Tom Grem, of Hunt Valley Country Club, showed two sides of his solid golf game during the two days of the 88th Maryland Senior Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at his home course.

He had four three-putts in struggling to a 3-over- par 75 in the opening round, then came back with what he called, "My best putting since I was kid," in producing a 71, a 36-hole total of 146, and a one-stroke victory over George Mavrikes, Congressional CC, 77-70- -147. The 70 was the low round of the tournament on a course played at 6,459 yards, As it turned out, the top five scorers all improved on first-round scores by three to seven strokes.

Although successful over the years in club events -- he is currently the club champion and Senior club champion -- this marked Grem's first major title. He was thrilled with the outcome but admitted winning the Maryland State and Middle Atlantic Father-Son championships with sons Doug and Jimmy, respectively, earlier in the summer gave him more satisfaction.

Knowing the Seniors event was at Hunt Valley, however, provided added incentive. "I don't play a lot of outside events and I'm not as good as some of the players, so I felt this was going to be my best chance to win if I could just kind of hold it together," the champion said.

Actually, the 75 was not as bad as it might have been in some years as the leader shot 74, and the second round could turn into a horse race. There were 11 players within three shots of the lead and another nine four back.

At the end, Grem and Mavrikes were followed by Tim Dilli, Baltimore CC, 77-71--148; Lee Flemister, last year's runner-up from the University of Maryland GC, 76-73--149, and Larry Storck, third a year ago, from Sparrows Point CC, 77-73--150. This marked the 10th time in tournament history the champion came from the host club and the first since Frank Burns, Fountain Head CC, in 1988.

"I had been putting pretty well coming in, but the greens were faster than we've played all year. It was my home course, but it didn't feel like it, " Grem declared.

For the second round, Grem was right on target from the start, birdieing the opening hole from 12-feet. He fell back to even after missing the 5th green, then left an eagle putt on the lip at the par-5 7th. Grem scrambled to a bogey at the 10th after his tee shot at the 173-yard hole almost went out of bounds and he wound up making a 15-foot putt.

He got his eagle at the 492-yard 11th when his hybrid shot from 220 yards stopped pin-high and nine feet from the cup. Grem dipped to 2-under for the nine with a birdie at the 13th, but slipped back to even with bogeys at the 14th (a ball-search was successful with three seconds left of allotted time) and 18th. For the round, he had 28 putts, including three at the last. His best previous finish in the event was a second to Mike Occi at Manor CC three years ago.

Michael Weiner, Hayfields CC, won the Super Senior division (65-over) with 78-77--155, edging Tom Lynn, Mountain Branch GC, by a single stroke, 79-77--156.

The 2017 championship will be held at Worthington Manor GC in Urbana.

View results for Maryland Senior Amateur Golf Championship

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