GIVE HER FIVE: Joan Garety of Ada Wins GAM Women’s Senior Championship for Fifth Time

Link to championship page, results: Women’s Senior

  HARBOR SPRINGS – Ada’s Joan Garety made a par-saving eight-foot putt on No. 18 and won her fifth GAM Women’s Senior Championship by one shot over two-time champion Terry Delcamp of Grand Blanc Tuesday at Harbor Point Golf Club.

 “I was thinking as we got to the back nine and I knew it was within a shot – this is fun,” the 63-year-old Garety said after winning the 23rd version of the championship presented by Sullivan Golf “This is why we play. You don’t play just to play. You play to compete and have a chance to win and that is what is fun. It does not get old to win. This one feels just as good as the first one.”

  The Michigan Golf Hall of Famer shot a closing 76 for 158, slipping past Delcamp, who shot 78 for 159. The two are close friends and often partners in team tournaments.

  “Of course, I want to beat her, and she wants to beat me,” Garety said. “We play to win.”

  Maureen Whitehead of Charlevoix, another two-time winner, finished third with a closing 81 for 161.  Three-time former champions Susan Campbell of Kalamazoo, who shot 80, and Pam Tyler of Grand Rapids, who shot 85, tied for fourth at 167.

  Through 13 holes of the final round Garety had forged a four-shot lead, but she made a double-bogey 7 on No. 14 and Delcamp birdied the par 3 No. 15.

  “I had chances to have it be a lot more comfortable,” Garety said. “I missed a makeable birdie putt on 13 from six-feet, then had the 7 on 14. I went from being comfortable to being very uncomfortable. Terry barely missed a birdie on 16. She played beautifully. The ball just wouldn’t go in the hole for her.”

  Garety said the greens at Harbor Point are especially hard to read.

  “That is what makes this course,” she said. “It all sits out in front of  you. It’s not long. There’s no water. The greens are hard, and you are always trying to figure out where that body of water (Lake Michigan) is and if the ball will break that way. The greens here can make you look very silly. You think you are going to make it, and then all of a sudden you are eight feet away. I would suggest to the members here they invite everybody up they know to play because you will take their money. Knowing the greens would be big here.”

   A field of 65 senior women age 50-plus played  in the championship. In addition to the championship flight, three other flights named for GAM golf leaders and legends were determined over two days of stroke play. Gross and net prizes were awarded. Karin Flood of Mt. Clemens, who shot 86 for 168 was the Super Senior winner among golfers over age 65.

-Greg Johnson, [email protected]