Brighton’s Art Black Wins Michigan Senior Net Amateur Championship

  TAYLOR – Art Black overcame a lack of sleep and a shaky start to the back nine but finished with a 35-foot putt for net eagle on the 18th hole to secure the 6th Michigan Senior Net Amateur Championship presented by Michigan Golf Live Tuesday and Lakes of Taylor Golf Club.

  Black, a veteran of GAM net tournaments, won his first senior title and second GAM title with a closing net 5-under 67 for a net two-day total of 138.

  He was two shots clear of Mike Kidder of Ann Arbor, who shot net 72 for 140.

  Mike Carten of Ortonville shot 72 for 142 and third, and three golfers tied at 143 including John Burket of Shelby Township, who shot 72, Joe DeNino of Taylor, who shot 72 and Wesley Pikula of West Bloomfield, who closed with a 76 after and opening 67 Monday.

  “Oh this is nice,” Black said of winning. “I won the (GAM Net Stableford) the first time they had that, and I’ve been playing in the Michigan Net Amateur for probably 15 years or more and I came close. I tied for second one year, lost in a card playoff and didn’t get a trophy that time.”

  He took home the trophy this time despite his sleep-deprived state from working until 4 a.m. transporting the U.S. Mail to Post Offices in the metro area from downtown.

  “Every time I golf I’m usually sleep deprived because I start working at Midnight,” he said. “I had a guy relieve me at 4 a.m., so I got a couple hours of sleep last night.”

  Black said when he made a 6 with an out-of-bounds shot on No. 12 he almost mentally gave up.

  “Then I made (actual) par and (actual) birdie on the next two holes and then I thought I’ll keep trying. Then things just kept falling in place.”

  Like the final putt on 18 when his approach shot stopped a foot from the pond that surrounds the green.

  “I was at least 35 feet away on the putt and I was just trying to not leave in short, you know,” he said. “It went in and that was a great finish.”

   The tournament featured 78 senior male golfers over age 55 with GAM/USGA handicap indexes lower than 20.4. The Senior Net Amateur is among five Net championships presented as part of the GAM’s continuing effort to provide competition for members of all playing ability levels on some of the state’s top golf courses.