Michael Lam of Northville and Tapinder Kalsi of Canton won the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to claim the 31st GAM Net Team Championship Finals presented by Michigan Golf Live at Red Run Golf Club Tuesday.
They had to go the extra hole to do it against the three-time champion McHale brothers, Jack and Michael of Macomb, too.
“The McHales are tough competitors, we see them very often on the leaderboards in the net tournaments,” Lam said. “We enjoy playing with them.”
Both teams shot 10-under 62 net scores in regulation play and then faced off in a net playoff. Lam and Kalsi made a net birdie with each of them making net birdies, and the McHale brothers turned in a net par.
Lam said team competition is really about teamwork.
“We are very comfortable talking to each other and taking the pressure off each other basically,” Lam said. “We are very even-keel kind of people. He asks me if he should go for it, and I say sure, you go for it. He’s a very good player, and that takes a lot of pressure off me also.”
Eric and Julie Kenar of Bloomfield Hills shot 65 to finish third, and the two teams shooting 66 for fourth place were Michael Moco of Grosse Ile and teammate Adam Mangiapane of Troy, and Al Petrulis of Troy and Sal Petrulis of Howell.
The eight teams in the finals earned spots earlier this summer from a starting field of 82 teams at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club.
Lam said they have played in the tournament for three consecutive years with one second-place finish previously. They met through work. Kalsi was a customer of the company where Lam worked.
“I invited him out to play one of these and he enjoyed it,” he said. “He played in another organization and I kept telling him how nice of a set-up the tournaments are with the GAM.
Lam said they almost didn’t get into the playoff. They made a net bogey on No. 17 and needed a net birdie at 18 to get back to 10-under.
“I got in trouble behind a tree and had to draw it,” he said. “I was able to draw it up on the green. Kalsi was short of the green, but we both ended up putting up to the hole within a foot and we both made pars for net birdies to get in the playoff.”
Kalsi said he has played in a lot of golf tournaments over the years, but loves the GAM net tournaments.
“They are so well organized and the staff does a phenomenal job setting up the courses – very fair and with tough greens,” he said.
He said Lam is a great partner because he shows up when needed.
“We compliment each other,” he said. “I slack a little and he picks up and shows the right way.”