FARMINGTON HILLS – Randy Lewis of Alma got a late start to his 2022 golf season following a bout with COVID in June, but he finished strong with a second place in the GAM Super Senior Championship at Atlas Valley Golf Club and made it to match play in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass.
“A lot of things were going on and I really didn’t play until the Fourth of July so I just tried to have fun and enjoy the rest of the season,” he said. “I really enjoyed playing Atlas Valley in the Super Senior and played pretty good there, and then I enjoyed Kittansett in the Senior Amateur. It was kind of a mixed season. I didn’t play at all at the start, and then I played a lot for a couple of months and found my game a few times.”
Lewis, 65 and a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member, found his game often enough to top the Golf Association (GAM) Points List for super senior men (age 65-plus) and has been named the GAM Super Senior Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann, senior director of competitions and USGA services for the GAM, announced today.
Player of the Year point totals can be found on a pull down from the PLAY tab at GAM.org. In the last two weeks Nick Krueger of Spring Lake was named the Men’s Player of the Year, Kimberly Dinh of Midland was named the Women’s Player of the Year, Steve Maddalena of Jackson was named the Senior Men’s Player of the Year and Julie Massa of Holt was named the Senior Women’s Player of the Year. In December the GAM will announce four more Players of the Year in gender and age categories. The Players of the Year are presented by Carl’s Golfland.
One of the state’s most accomplished amateurs, Lewis is a Player of the Year in a third age category. He was a two-time GAM Men’s Player of the Year and the GAM Player of the Decade in the 1990s, and after turning 55 he was the GAM Senior Player of the Year for four consecutive years. Among the things on his playing resume are the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, a start in the 2012 Masters Tournament, 36 starts in USGA championships and two Michigan Amateur titles.
“I honestly didn’t realize there was a Super Senior Player of the Year category,” he said. “I think it’s great. I saw some great players over 65 playing this year. It’s always nice to be recognized. It makes me want to play more and work on my game more next summer.”
A GAM member through Pine River Country Club, Lewis topped the points list with 265.
Finishing second was Mike Raymond of Jackson and the Country Club of Jackson, who topped Lewis by one shot to win the GAM Super Senior Championship. He had 190 points.
Bill Zylstra of Dearborn Heights and the Michigan Publinx Golf Association (145 points), Rick Herpich of Orchard Lake and Orchard Lake Country Club (135) and Jeff Knudson of Beverly Hills and the Michigan Publinx Golf Association (120) rounded out the top five.
Lewis, who retired 18 months ago, has spent considerable time working on the family summer cottage about 25 miles west of the family home in Alma.
“I hope to get the work at the cottage finished in time for the golf season and play much more,” he said. “As I get older I have a different perspective, too. Now I’m really glad I get the chance to play and compete. Golf has given me so much through the course of my whole life and with what we have as a family. I’ll always be grateful for that.”
He said his best round of the summer might have come in the U.S. Senior Amateur qualifier at Gull Lake Country Club.
“Your margin for error in those qualifiers is very thin and I was up and down all day and had a couple of three putts,” he said. “I made a bogey at 13 to go 2-over and told myself I needed to make birdies coming in. I made three and one bogey to get back to even. I thought I’d maybe be in playoff for an alternate spot, but it turned out it qualified. You just never know. You hang in and you never know.”
Hartmann said Lewis is always among the most prepared golfers for competition.
“He does more than just play practice rounds,” he said. “He comes out a few times, does his due diligence, takes notes, builds a plan and then follows it. He still has that competitive drive and that wonderful swing tempo, and he gets what it is all about. He never says anything bad about somebody and nobody ever says anything bad about him. I’m sure that’s part of why he has such an amazing record.”