MOUNT PLEASANT – The scramble team of Cameron Nelson of Birmingham, Robert Diedrich of Bloomfield Hills, John Stencel of Bloomfield Hills and Gary Stencel of Rochester missed the No. 17 green at The Pohlcat Championship Course Monday and thought it might doom their chances at repeating as champions in the GAM Scramble State Championship.
“We were down on ourselves pretty heavily,” Diedrich said. “Then my buddy John (Stencel) here hit a miracle shot that bounced on the green one or two times and then slapped the pin so hard. But it stopped two inches from the cup. You could hit a 100 golf balls off the pin like that and not get it any closer. It saved us there. We had a lot of great shots over the two days, but that will be the one we remember.”
The foursome used that key shot at 17 to help power a final-round 11-under 61 for a two-day 21-under 121 total and the overall gross scoring title in the 9th edition of the tournament played this year on The Pohlcat and Mount Pleasant Country Club’s course.
Teams were made up of four GAM members – including men, women, senior men, and/or senior women, each with a valid GAM/USGA Handicap Index. A team’s total index had to be 36.0 or higher, and teams could not have more than two players with a GAM/USGA Handicap Index lower than 10.0 in the last 12 months.
Two teams finished second in the gross race, four shots back at 17-under.
The team of Tad Gabriel of Ortonville, Jim Osebold of Auburn Hills, Gerald Dekker of Shelby Township and Michael Peltz of Grosse Pointe shot a closing 62 at The Pohlcat for their 125 total.
The team of Justin Scollin of Royal Oak, Michael Bauer of Waterford, Tim Scollin of Oxford and Brian Morgan of Rochester Hills shot a closing 63 at Mount Pleasant CC for their 125.
A scorecard playoff determined the team of Gabriel, Osebold, Dekker and Peltz would take home the trophies for runner up.
The Champions in net scoring were Jeff Orzel of Westland, Kevin Moreno of Canton, Michael Cavicchio of Plymouth and Jeffrey Leonhard of Westland. They combined for a final net 57 on The Pohlcat for a two-day 118 net total.
The runner-up team in net scoring included Adam Lipski of Harrison Township, Jonathan Lipski of Macomb, David Lipski of Macomb and Michael Trosen of White Lake. They shot a closing 63 at Mount Pleasant CC for a 121 net total.
In the race to the finish for the gross scoring title Diedrich said the team leaned on their horse Nelson for the second consecutive year.
“He was a dominant player out there the whole time,” he said. “Yesterday (Gary Stencel) brought his putter for the first eight or 10 holes, and then today Cameron knocked down a few putts and we had John’s miraculous shot on 17. It as a true scramble effort for two days, that’s for sure.”
Orzel, the spokesperson for the net champions, said they started off well, had a lull for a while but then caught fire the last six holes.
“We went five under those last six and the result is the trophy,” he said. “I told the boys at the start that 10-under will have a chance, and that’s exactly what we shot. I didn’t think we were going to get there but we got there.”
The field for the 2020 GAM Scramble State Championship was altered due to the coronavirus. Regional qualifiers were canceled and all eligible teams were allowed to sign up to play in the GAM Scramble Championship.
The 26 teams that played Sunday and Monday were split over the two courses and played one round on each course.