Blackmore and Renaud; Stephanic and Young Crowned 29th GAM Net Team Champions

In photo: Mike Bork of Rapid City hits a tee shot at No. 6. Looking on, from left, are Bill Monteith of Dearborn, Gary Nickerson of South Lyon and Larry Hemmerly of Novi.

  GROSSE ILE – Ron Blackmore of Lake Orion and Kevin Renaud of Sylvan Lake won the Morning Wave, and Donald Stephanic of Clarkston and Ken Young of Shelby Township won the Afternoon Wave in the 29th GAM Net Team Championship presented by Michigan Golf Live on Monday at Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club.

  Those two championship teams will meet in a special showdown on Aug. 14 at Birmingham Country Club.

  Blackmore and Renaud shot a combined net 11-under 60 to take the first-place trophies in the morning wave of 33 teams. Kalsi Tapinder of Canton and Michael Lam of Northville shot 62 for second-place honors.

  In the afternoon, Stephanic and Young fired a 62 to win the trophies and best 33 more teams. Angelo Fileccia of Brownstown and Chris Badgley of Trenton shot 63 for second place.

  Blackmore and Renaud have played together in this tournament four times, and Monday’s round was clearly their best collaboration. Blackmore played with a 3 handicap in the tournament and Renaud played with 11 strokes.

  “We both played well today,” said Blackmore, a 41-year-old employee of Next Level Talent, an event company. “We came out Friday for a practice round and that helped with the greens and where not to hit it off the tee. It’s not an easy golf course.”

  Renaud, 40 and in real-estate investments for Unison, said they picked each other up through the day.

  “When one of us was having a bad hole, the other one made a par and in some cases a birdie,” he said. “We never really were out of a hole. It was fun to play well. It made for a good day.”

  Blackmore nearly had two holes-in-one. He hit his 9-iron on the par 3 No. 6 and at the par 3 No. 13. His shot at No. 6 stopped our inches away from the hole, and he was 18 inches above the hole at No. 13.

  “Putting 2s on the card is always a big help,” Renaud said.

  Two teams tied for third in the Morning with 63s: Sarah Johnson of Wixom and Jason Korody of Howell; and Michael Cotter of Plymouth and Leon Kashawlic of Novi.

  In the afternoon, Stephanic and Young thought they had a chance to win until they had to take a bogey late in the round.

  “We thought we were toast after that,” said Young, 55 and retired from a technology career. “We’re happy and surprised we ended up winning.”

  Stephanic, the 59-year-old owner of Western Engineered Products, said they started strong.

  “We ham and egged it all day,” he said. “One person of the two played well on every hole except one. We only blew up on one hole.”

  Young, who played with 9 handicap strokes, said Stephanic, who played with 14, hit his first approach of the day to two inches from the cup for a tap-in birdie, and followed it up with another birdie on the second hole they played.

  “He started really strong, and I had a strong flat stick going on the back nine and we just played well through the day,” he said.

  They are looking forward to playing Birmingham CC in the August showdown.

  “We love that place,” Young said.

   Five teams tied for third with net 65s; 2017 champions Tom Hollandsworth and Ishmael of Chelsea; Errik Scott of Farmington and Adam Banchiu of Royal Oak; Rich Mero of Romulus and Kenneth Casper of Pinckney; Scott Sitner of Birmingham and Craig Burres of West Bloomfield; Bradley Bescoe of Bloomfield Hills and Ryan Vickers of Northville.

 -Greg Johnson, [email protected]