SHELBY TOWNSHIP– Kevin Voke of Rochester Hills and Chris Pappas of Novi have known each other and teamed up in various golf tournaments for about 15 years.
“We play a lot of two-man, three-man, four-man tournaments wherever we can find them,” Voke said after they teamed up to shoot a 10-under 62 to win the gross scoring title in the first GAM Two-Person Scramble hosted by Cherry Creek Golf Club Wednesday. “We enjoy the teammate thing.”
“It’s nice to have somebody to pick you up after you blow one in the trees,” Pappas added.
Net winners were also determined: Tim Scollin of Auburn Hills and Brian Morgan of Rochester teamed up for a 12-under net 60 off a 10-under gross score.
“We feel very good about it,” Scollin said. “We have played in a ton of GAM events and never won one.”
Getting to double-digits in the gross competition was the key apparently as five teams followed Voke and Pappas at 9-under 63, including Jason Kalo of Grand Rapids and Steve Quist of Caledonia, who won a scorecard playoff for the runner-up gross trophy.
The runner-up trophy in the net competition went to Don Ward of Sterling Heights and Eric Birkle of Ann Arbor, who checked in with an 11-under net 61.
Cherry Creek hosted 40 teams in the new tournament that joins the GAM Scramble as events designed to serve golfers beyond the elite players in the state. It was originally scheduled for June at TPC Michigan but was postponed due to rainstorms that hampered course conditions. Cherry Creek agreed to come on as a host for the rescheduled tournament.
Voke, 49 and a senior regional technology manager for Trinity Health, and Pappas, a 42-year-old dentist who practices in Brighton, were tied for the lead with several teams when they came to the par 5 No. 16 hole late in the round.
They played a drive in the left rough for their second shot and Pappas drilled a 3-wood 240 yards to the back of the green. They two-putted from there for birdie to move to their winning 10-under score.
“That was a very big shot,” Voke said.
Pappas said they needed to come up with something because they were still disappointed with making a bogey on the short par 4 No. 8 hole.
“We were in the bunker, over the green, then on the green and it was just ugly,” he said.
Pappas said the key was him putting first through the day to show Voke the line on several putts that he made.
“Some days I’m a good putter, it depends on the day,” Voke said. “Today was a good day.”
The net winners Scollin, who is 59, and Morgan, 57, work together as manufacturer’s representatives and contract sales agents in the automotive industry. They also had trouble at No. 8, the short par 4.
“It was our last hole (shotgun start, various holes) and we just played it horrible and ended up making a double-bogey in a scramble,” Morgan said. “That was a little disappointing to finish that way. I think we could have been tied in gross if we just made par there.”
Scollin said they met their goal which is always just to play the best they can, hit some good shots and let the chips fall where they may.
“My partner got us rolling early, Brian threw some darts in there, and I helped some later with some putts and you know, in that wind, net winners, we will gladly take it.”