Written By: Greg Johnson
NORTHVILLE – Yvette Johnson of Farmington Hills and Sean Gouda of West Bloomfield have worked together at DTE for several years and have been golf partners for a long time, too.
They team up often and this time they teamed up to win the 33rd GAM Net Team Championship Finals presented by Michigan Golf Live Tuesday at Meadowbrook Country Club.
“It feels great,” said Johnson, who is 61. “We kind of ham and egged it. When I needed to make a putt I made it and when we needed him to make one, he made it. It was really a really good day for us.”
Gouda, 41, made a final tap-in par for a net birdie on the 18th hole to give the duo their winning margin and a closing four-ball net 7-under 65.
Mike Coles of Sterling Heights and Brian Maltese of Shelby Township shot a net 66 for second, and brothers Rix and Anthony Naimi of West Bloomfield finished third with a 68.
Eight Teams played Tuesday in the finals, including a team featuring sponsor Bill Hobson of Michigan Golf Live. The eight duos emerged from 80 teams that played for a coveted spot in the finals earlier this year at Flint Golf Club.
Gouda said he and Johnson have put in a lot of work on their golf game this summer and that their putting games finally came together.
“I came here early today because I said the only way there’s going to be a chance for us is if we make some putts,” Gouda said. “I knew I could get off the tee and get to the greens in regulation. I just had to make putts. So, I got on the practice green, actually switched my grip at the very end of the practice session. Then it came together in real time, Yvette putted great, too, and we just kept rolling.”
Among his putting highlights was a 50-foot bomb putt over a large hump in the green for a natural birdie on hole 10.
“Yvette said be sure about it and I hit it and boom,” Gouda said. “That was big. It does take a bit of luck to win something. You have to practice and you have to play, but you have to get a little lucky and have some fun with it, too.”
The duo won a mixed (male-female) best-ball tournament before, but they were happy this one put them on the permanent plaque trophy for the championship.
“We love the net events and we have played in a lot of them over the years,” Johnson said. “We’ve been close before, won a mixed tournament before. This one feels great.”