BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (Sept. 12, 2012) -- It was a long time coming for Ian Harris (Bloomfield Hills) but he finally captured the GAM Senior Championship at Bloomfield Hills Country Club Tuesday. He bested runner-up Greg Reynolds (Grand Blanc) by two strokes, something he has not been able to execute in the past.
“I’ve been trying to capture this title – any GAM title really – for a long time,” said Harris. “I have so many second and third-place finishes and close calls. This is the first time I’ve come out ahead of Greg when we went head-to-head. He’s just so darn good. So this was very meaningful to me.”
Harris shot a very consistent 73-73 – 146 and managed to get a couple of “member bounces” that helped him win the championship. On his first drive of the day and his last on 18, he hit his ball into the trees only to hear it hit wood and see it bounce back into the fairway.
“On 18 I had gotten into trouble in the left bunkers on the first day,” said Harris. “I wanted to avoid that and stay to the right but I went a little too far right into the trees. Next thing I know, the ball is sitting pretty in the right side of the fairway!”
Harris also credits his play on the tough par 3 9th hole where he managed par in both rounds.
“It is a really difficult short hole,” said Harris. “It is 155 yards uphill and the green is really wicked. I got up and down for par in both rounds and I think that was huge that I didn’t leak oil on that hole. Then I had a long putt on 11 that gave me a little cushion.”
Harris did not start playing golf until he was 34 years old. Reynolds, Randy Lewis (Ada) and Bill Zylstra (Dearborn Heights) are players Harris has always tried to emulate. But not until this week has Harris been able to beat one of his mentors.
“I’ve constantly worked at my game an observed what top players are doing,” said Harris. “When I look back, it’s not that I have not been able to come through, it is just that the level of competition is so high in Michigan. That just makes this all the more rewarding!”
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