Emotional Matt Magnotte Wins 12th GAM Net Match Play Title

Written By: Greg Johnson

GRAND BLANC – An emotional Matt Magnotte of Clinton Township, whose two brothers passed away from different causes in the last three weeks, said he wasn’t prepared for the tournament and was shocked at the results.

It turns out his game, with perhaps some help from up above, was ready. He turned back Mike Horvath of Canton 1-up in the final match Wednesday to win the 12th GAM Net Match Play presented by Preferred Data Systems (PDS) at Atlas Valley Golf Club.

“I just kept staying in every match and made it to the end so I have to thank them (his brothers) for helping me,” he said. “I kind of felt them with me the whole tournament. Then on the tee there I saw a Robin, which was, well, my dad. So it was like they were all there watching me. That was nice.”

It was the third GAM Net title for Magnotte joining his previous GAM Net Championship win and the GAM Net Chapman team title.

“I haven’t practiced like I usually practice so I mean, I told my wife I would be home on Monday afternoon,” he said. “She’s probably shocked. I’m pretty shocked.”

Magnotte reached the final with a 2-up morning semifinal win over Jack McHale, the 2016 champion, and Horvath earned his spot in the title match with a 6 and 5 win over Brian Smith of Ypsilanti.

A field of 78 golfers with handicap indexes of 20.4 or lower started the tournament with 18 holes of stroke play for net scores on Monday to determine a low 32 golfers to fill out a match play bracket. The Net Match Play Championship is part of the GAM’s continuing effort to serve more than just elite golfers with competitive tournaments.

Horvath took an early 3-up lead in the match but Magnotte had tied in by hole 11. He said making a 40-foot putt on No. 12 to take the lead was probably the difference maker in the match.

“He had the same putt before me so it gave me a good read on it,” he said. “I saw it broke more than both of us thought and I just hit it right on line and it dripped in the front edge.”

Magnotte, 65 and retired, said he has played well at Atlas Valley and through the week he used the same golf ball for all 90 holes played.

“I’m not going to use it anymore,” he said. “I’ll probably put it in the cup (trophy).”

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