Playoffs Prevail at the 27th GAM Mid-Amateur

HARBOR SPRINGS ? Maybe it was the full moon or maybe it was just a matter of a lot of people having a good day on the links on Sept. 4. Whatever the reason, both the regular and the senior divisions of the 27th GAM Mid-Amateur at Boyne Resorts went to extra holes.

Tom Werkmeister (Kentwood) defeated Russ Cunningham (DeWitt) on the second playoff hole while in the senior division, John Lindholm (Grand Blanc) prevailed over Gray Tuttle (Dimondale) on the third playoff hole.

Werkmeister and Cunningham have been friends for 15 years and were rooming together at Boyne during the tournament.

?Sure enough, we ended up playing against each other in a playoff,? said Werkmeister. ?It was kind of a weird feeling. On the second playoff hole I had a good drive with my 9-iron, had a poor first putt but made my second putt.? Russ bogeyed the hole.?

Even though both Cunningham and Werkmeister shot 73 in the first round, the idea that they might end up in a close run for the championship never occurred to them.

?I had a couple of bogeys in the middle on the second day but otherwise I played pretty consistent,? said Werkmeister. ?I birdied the last two and I really didn?t know where I stood when I got off 18. I didn?t know until I got to the clubhouse that Russ and I were tied for the lead.?

Although Cunningham and Werkmeister have never faced off in a playoff before, they have been in close competition in stroke play. This year Cunningham topped Werkmeister by one stroke at the West Michigan Amateur; eight years ago Werkmeister beat Cunningham by one stroke in the same tournament.

In the senior division, it took Lindholm three holes to get the best of Tuttle. Lindholm was 8-over par teeing of on 18 when he found out that 7 over par was the score to beat. That changed his strategy on the hole. He played more aggressive and ended up with a birdie.

?If I hadn?t have known I probably would have played the hole very differently and ended up with a par,? said Lindholm.

Lindholm and Tuttle both pared the first two playoff holes but on the third, Tuttle got into trouble in a greenside bunker.

?It took him several shots to get out and even though I was in a bunker too I was able to just flop it up on the green,? said Lindholm.