HARBOR SPRINGS – Chalk up a three-peat for Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood. To start his Labor Day weekend off right, he clinched his third consecutive GAM Mid-Amateur Championship at Boyne Highlands Resorts Hills and Ross courses. Werkmeister shot a 71-69-140 – two strokes better than his finish last year. His best finish was two years ago when he shot a 138 for the two-day event.
“It’s pretty darn exciting,” said Werkmeister. “Especially after the first round; I wasn’t sure I had a chance to win.”
Werkmeister was five strokes off the lead with 10 golfers between him and the top spot on the leader board.
The first day of play featured perfect Northern Michigan weather — sunny and temperate. Day two was very windy and there were several rain showers that lasted varied amounts of time. Admittedly, Werkmeister is a bit of a mudder and tends to excel when playing in inclement weather. He used that expertise to move into the lead.
“I just enjoy the challenge of playing in bad weather,” said Werkmeister. “It was nasty. It probably rained 15 different times throughout the day. That plus the gusty winds made for quite a challenge.”
Werkmeister thought he had missed his chance to tally a great score on the first day. But his solid, steady play on the second day garnered him the championship.
“I am always more excited in a tournament situation if it is windy or there are adverse conditions,” said Werkmeister. “I’ve had a lot of experience playing in that kind of weather so I think that is why. I’m sure the bad weather at Boyne helped me come back and win.”
Werkmeister notes that the weather the first two years he played the tournament was picture perfect.
“I’ve only played in this tournament three times and won it all three times so I will be back for sure next year to defend the championship.”
In the senior division, John Lindholm (Grand Blanc) picked the perfect week to experiment with his new swing. He was able to fight through the extreme weather conditions and claim victory with a 73-76-149
“I decided to try a new swing this week because the old one was hard on my back,” said Lindholm. “It worked pretty well. I think I will be keeping the new swing.”
Lindholm said it was a fun round of golf but also a lot of work because of having to constantly battle the elements.
“Every five minutes it would pour rain, then it would stop, then it would start up again,” said Lindholm. “Then sometimes it would just keep raining and the wind would start up at about 30 miles per hour. Of course, now that I am standing here in the clubhouse, the weather is just fine.”