Garden City’s Dustin Ross Finds Way to Michigan Net Amateur Victory

YPSILANTI – Garden City’s Dustin Ross finally found the way to finish first in the Michigan Net Amateur Championship presented by Michigan Golf Live .

  The Spirit Airlines pilot shot the second-best round of golf in his life, a 73 gross for a final-round net 66 and a winning 9-under net total of 135 to win the 20th version of the championship at Washtenaw Golf Club Monday.

   He had finished runner-up twice previously in the championship, and second once in the GAM Net Match Play Championship, too.

  “I want to say it’s like getting the monkey off the back a little bit because I’ve been out here playing in these for almost 10 years and I finally finished one,” he said after the four-shot win. “I love finally getting one. It feels really good.”

  Jeff Vergolini of Canton, playing in his first-ever GAM administered tournament, shot a final 71 to go with a first-round net 68 for 139 and second place.

 Third went to Andrew Lang of Grosse Ile, who earlier this summer won the GAM Net Match Play title. He had a net 68 to close for 140.

 Five golfers tied for fourth at 141, including 2013 champion Jack Germain of Punta Gorda, Michael McHale of Macomb, Harold Tramski of Port Huron, Roger Hurd of Allen Park and Joe DeNino of Taylor.

  A field of 74 male golfers with USGA/GAM Handicap Indexes of 20.4 or better squared off over the two days of net stroke play.

 The 42-year-old Ross, who retired from the National Guard last year and joined Spirit Airlines, shot a net 69 on Monday and said he had just one really bad shot through the final round.

  “And that was on 18,” he said. “I put it down in the trees there, but still punched it on the green. I know I had two other bogeys, but I really don’t remember those holes, probably three-putt holes. That tells you, I just moved on today. I knew I was hitting the ball really well and everything was working.”

  Ross, whose long-time goal in golf has been to get his 7-handicap under 5, said he is proof winning does not come easy in the net tournaments.

  “Any of these players can have a round like I did today, you know my second best ever, so you have to come out and play great,” he said. “It’s like in any event, if you are not playing close to your handicap you don’t have a chance.”

  Vergolini said his first time in the championship will not be his last.

  “I had a buddy who played in the match play and he told me I had to come try these events,” he said. “This was great, so well organized, on a great course, just really fun.”