SAGINAW – Experience prevailed in the GAM Women’s Four-Ball Championship presented by Garland Lodge & Golf Resort Tuesday at Saginaw Country Club.
The experienced duo of Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett and Julie Massa of Holt won in a sudden-death playoff with Western Michigan University golfers Alissa Fish of Clarklake and Brooke Gibbons of Lapeer to take the Overall Division title, and the team of Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc and Joan Garety of Ada won the Senior Division title for the sixth time in the last seven years and fifth consecutively.
“We have the same competitive spirit and we approach the game the same way and we know the other one is going to be trying just as hard as the other, so it works,” said Massa after she teamed up with Slobodnik-Stoll for a final-round 4-under 67 and a par on the one sudden-death playoff hole, No. 18, where Fish and Gibbons played to bogey.
Garety and Delcamp obviously work well together, too.
“We’ve teamed up for several years and I think we know how to keep each other in the right frame of mind,” Garety said after they fashioned a closing 69 for 142 and a four-shot senior win over Barb Schmid of Grand Rapids and Shelly Weiss of Southfield.
“When one of us has some issues, then the other person knows when to encourage and when to leave alone, that kind of good stuff. That all helps.”
Net champions were also determined in the Senior Division. Judy Lazzaro of Troy and Cindy Obermeyer of Birmingham shot a net closing 63 for a 131 net total and the win by one shot over Olivia Bayagich of Washington and Cindy Hill of Ypsilanti, who closed with a net 65 for 132.
“We had a way better day today than yesterday,” Lazzaro said. “When I was out of a hole Cindy was usually having a birdie putt, and vice versa. We both chipped in for birdies on different holes and we also stayed out of the woods today. We had a lot of birdie chances as opposed to having to scramble to make pars like we did yesterday. We played great today.”
Slobodnik-Stoll and Massa, who opened with a 72 Monday, said they had five birdies on the front nine in building their 67 for a 3-under 139 total.
“We didn’t look at the leaderboard until after our tee shots at 18, but with five birdies on the front nine between us I figured we were back in it,” Slobodnik-Stoll said.
Fish and Gibbons had opened with a 71 and shot a closing 68 for 139 to force the playoff. Alexa Hatz of Novi and Sophie Ubaydi of Rochester, two University of Detroit Mercy golfers, shot consecutive 70s for 140 and third place overall.
In the senior division Schmid and Weiss shot consecutive 73s for 146 and second.
Garety, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, once again held the trophy that is named for her and fellow Hall of Fame member Mary Jane Hiestand (Garety-Hiestand Trophy).
“This is an important tournament to us,” said Garety who has teamed up with Delcamp eight times in the tournament. “We look forward to playing together. We enjoy ourselves immensely and we try really hard. I think that helps.”
Slobodnik-Stoll, the GAM’s winningest golfer in history (20 titles, 19 individual), and Massa, the GAM’s Senior Women’s Player of the Year the last five years, agreed winning never gets old.
“I feel like today everything Julie and I were doing was working,” said Slobodnik-Stoll, who is also in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and is being joined by the recently elected Massa.
“We were like come on let’s get this, and we were hitting it well enough to go pin seeking. That doesn’t happen every day, but it’s nice when it does.”
-Greg Johnson, email@example.com