CLARKSTON – Oakhurst Golf & Country Club, a pristine Arthur Hills-designed course built in 1998, will host the 11th GAM Senior Match Play Championship presented by Sullivan Golf Travel Tuesday through Friday.
A field of 147 senior golfers, including 95 playing for the overall senior title, and 52 vying for the over-65 super senior crown, will play 18 holes on Tuesday to determine a bracket of 32 for the senior division and a bracket of 16 for the super senior bracket. Matches will start Wednesday and continue through to Friday morning’s championship matches.
The Oakhurst course, which can play as long as 7,054 yards, weaves through oak, pine and maple trees and over and around protected wetlands. Hills incorporated significant risk-reward factors, but also provided some bailout areas for conservative play. The course demands accurate and well-placed tee shots, especially on the shorter par 4 holes.
George Bowman is the host professional and has been at Oakhurst since it opened in 1998. Adam Hosler has been the superintendent since 2014.
Bill Zylstra, the defending champion, and Pete Saputo, the defending super senior winner, are in the field.
Last year Zylstra, a Dearborn Heights resident, won his third title in the 10-year history of the tournament. The 66-year-old golfer had opted to play at least one more time in the senior division, and topped Mitch Wilson of Portage, a past champion in 2015 and the GAM Senior Player of the Year in 2018, in 20 holes in the final match.
Zylstra, who won the 2009 and 2010 titles, is playing again this year in the senior division.
Saputo, who is from Bloomfield Hills, won the super senior title match 1-up over Mike Fedewa of Canton, who was the GAM Super Senior Player of the Year.
In addition to Zylstra and Wilson, there are four other former senior champions in the field, including two-time winner Randy Lewis of Alma, Steve Maddalena of Jackson, Mike Raymond of Jackson and Ray Emsley of Davisburg.
In addition to Saputo, a trio of two-time former super seniors are in the field – Mark Christenson, George Dillon and Claud Johnston.
-Greg Johnson, email@example.com