NORTHVILLE – The McHale brothers of Macomb, Jack and Mike, teamed up to win the GAM Net Team Championship for the third time.
The latest happened at Meadowbrook Country Club Thursday – and get this – it was 18 years following their back-to-back first two in 2001 and 2002.
“We have been trying for a long time to get this one, we’ve fought through a couple injuries, Jack has had a knee replaced, a hip replaced, two back surgeries,” said Mike, who is 61 and has been working for Digital Technology Co. for 36 years. “We’ve been close a lot of years to getting another. We had a couple of seconds in there.”
“We just kept grinding,” said Jack, who is 59 and recently retired after 38 years at IBM. “We wanted this bad. It was a long time coming, and it feels good.”
The McHale brothers, who live right around the corner from each other, teamed up for a net 5-under 67 best-ball score and won by one shot over three teams in the 30th edition of the tournament. Jack played as a 3-handicap shooting a gross 79, and Mike a 9 shooting a gross 84.
They were one of eight teams who qualified for Thursday’s Net Team Finals in competition earlier this summer at Spring Meadows Country Club in Linden.
The three teams that tied for second at 4-under included Dwaine Jones of Canton and Kevin Kotzian of Milford, Adam Golden of Warren and Michael Rossman of Canton, and Al Molnar of West Bloomfield and Tom Haller of Commerce.
The two brothers, who play public golf and in league play at Cherry Creek Golf Club in Shelby Township, started playing golf in their mid-20s. First it was Jack, who then got Mike involved in the game. They are one of five children in what they described as a competitive family.
“We are brothers, you know, and usually we want to beat each other no matter what,” Mike said. “Euchre, bowling, no matter what we are trying to beat each other.”
Jack said they fight to win always.
“But at the end of the day I know he’s got my back and I got his,” he said. “And we have fun. Ask anybody who plays with us. We make sure to compete hard and have fun.”
The brothers said Meadowbrook proved to be a stern test.
“We hit the ball good – it was just hard out there,” Jack said. “We didn’t get a practice round in so we didn’t know what to expect. It’s really tough around the greens here. We did a good job of missing on the right side, and when one of us was out of it, the other one came through and got up and down. We also made some good clutch putts down the stretch. We teamed up great. We knew it was close.”