ANN ARBOR – Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc and Joan Garety of Ada had won the Senior Women’s Four-Ball Championship division five times consecutively and six times in the last seven years, but Garety is in Washington state for a family wedding this year.
In stepped Garety’s former Michigan State University teammate from years ago, Suzanne Conlin of Ann Arbor, and Delcamp was back in the winner’s circle once again Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Amaya Melendez, 18, and her 14-year-old sister Mia, played for the first time as partners in a tournament, and on their home course Polo Fields Golf & Country Club, and birdied their way to the Women’s’ Four-Ball Championship open division title.
With Conlin’s clutch par on No. 18, Delcamp and Conlin finished off a 2-under 70 for a two-day total of 3-under 141 and a one-shot advantage over charging Barb Schmid of Grand Rapids and Shelly Weiss of Southfield, who shot 69 for 142.
Donna Tepper of Grosse Pointe Park and Joanne Adams of Detroit combined for a final 70 and 143.
In the overall division, Mia, fresh off winning the 15-and-under division in the Michigan Girls’ Junior State Amateur last week, birdied their final two holes (Nos. 5 and 6) to help them fashion a closing 6-under 66 for a two-day 10-under 134 total.
Lauren Timpf, another 14-year-old who played up in age division and won the overall Michigan Girls’ Junior State Amateur title last week, teamed with Olivia Hemmila of Troy for a closing 68 Tuesday and a two-day total of 137.
They tied with Eastern Michigan University golfer Sophia Wygonik of Westland and Oakland University golfer Mariella Simoncini of Northville, who rallied with a 67 to also finish at 137. Four teams tied at 140.
Delcamp 59, said the 64-year-old Conlin was a no-stress partner she felt lucky to find for the championship.
“We’ve known each other for years, we’ve played golf together and we always have a good time together,” she said. “She keeps me calm and she inspires me.”
The team did feel a little stress when they noticed Schmid and Weiss, who were playing in the group ahead.
“I saw Shelly (Weiss) making a couple of putts, and I was like ‘oh man, so yeah there was some stress,’” Delcamp said. “I kind of limped in unfortunately, but Sue made a great par on the last hole. That was pretty clutch. She hit it to about 12 feet and I was pretty sure all we had to do was make par. She made it happen.”
Delcamp said Garety would be welcomed back next year and that she is going to help Conlin find a partner.
“We want more senior women to play in this,” she said. “It’s a great tournament and they would have a lot of fun.”
As for the open division, the Melendez sisters felt playing together on their home course would be cool, and it turned out it was helpful, too.
“It’s a tricky course in some places and we have prior experience, you know,” said Amaya, who is headed to Eastern Michigan University and playing on the golf team in the fall. “We know the slopes and where to lay-up, stuff like that.”
The girls practice at the Polo Fields almost daily and play often as well, and Mia said they are close sisters.
“We have our disagreements as sisters, but when we are on the golf course, we are both focused and we were able to put all of our best efforts together today,” Mia said.
Amaya said they have similar on-course personalities.
“We both stick with it, stay focused and we made sure we were working together as a team,” she said. “Our team effort helped us pull this off.”
Mia said Amaya was really clutch in Monday’s first round and held the team’s first-round 68 together.
“Today we were both able to make some birdies,” she said.
Mia’s two closing birdies came off wedge approach shots, each time to three-feet. The club personnel in the pro shop and members were keeping tabs on the home club’s twosome via live-scoring and cheered the results.
“It was fun,” Amaya said. “We will have to play as teammates again sometime.”
The gross winners’ names in the Open and Senior divisions are inscribed on the tournament trophy, which his named The Garety/Hiestand Trophy in honor of Garety and fellow Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Mary Jane Hiestand, who now lives in Florida.