David Bartnick (GAM photo)
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (Sept. 11, 2018) – Bolstered by a hole-in-one, David Bartnick of Livonia, Mich., came from behind to win the 32nd GAM Senior Championship presented by Sullivan Golf Travel at Battle Creek Country Club on Tuesday.
Bartnick, the 59-year-old owner of DB Communications in Livonia, shot a closing 1-under 71 that featured a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole of the Willie Park-designed classic course. He used a 7-iron for the 157-yard shot. It was his third ace, but the first in competition.
“Perfect time to get it,” he said. “It was absolutely great to see it go in.”
His 71 left him at 1-over 145 for the tournament, one shot better than Mike LeBarre, a Battle Creek CC member who shot 74 for 146.
Matt Wiley of Westland, who shot 74, and James Landi of Ann Arbor, who shot 75, tied for third at 147.
Bartnick, who finished second by five shots last year to Craig Adams of Spring Lake at Muskegon Country Club, came back this year wanting a chance to win his first GAM title. Bartlett started the day three shots off the lead.
“The course played very hard,” he said. “There was not going to be a 66 like last year. In talking with some of my competitors I knew that getting anything under par, and it didn’t have to be very far under par, was going to give you a chance to win it.”
Rick Herpich of Orchard Lake shot a 5-under 67 in the first round for a seven-shot lead in the Super Senior Division and held that lead through the second round with a 73 for 140.
Mike Fedewa of Canton, the 2007 Senior champion who shot 69 to close at 147 was second. David Gordon of Ann Arbor shot 76 for 148 and third, and Mike Sequite of Marshall shot 75 for 149.
Herpich, a 65-year-old retiree competing in the Super Senior Division this year for the first time, said he had never had a seven-shot lead before.
“It was a new experience and I found out it’s not easy paying with the lead,” he said. “You try to follow up a great round with a good round, and you play conservatively. I was pretty solid today though. Yesterday was seven birdies and two bogeys and I putted really well. Today, I just kept it in front of me and kept the lead.”
A field of 156 golfers, 105 playing for the Senior title for golfers age 55-and-over, and 51 playing in the Super Senior division for golfers 65-and-over, played two rounds over two days.
ABOUT THE GAM Senior Championship
Must be a GAM member. 36-hole stroke play event
for seniors (55 and older, 8.4 handicap max), and
seniors (65 and older, 10.4 handicap max).
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