BATTLE CREEK – You’ve got Kobe and LeBron. You’ve got Crosby and Ovechkin. And on the GAM senior tournament circuit, you’ve got Greg Reynolds and Bill Zylstra. It was Reynolds who prevailed today at the 3rd GAM Senior Match Play tournament at Battle Creek Country Club topping his long-time rival Zylstra 4&3 in match play.
“It was a lot of fun to play with Bill and also a lot of fun to beat him,” said Reynolds. “He’s been one of the top-ranked amateurs in the country the past couple of years. I got that distinction one time but since then, he has owned me. If I didn’t win today I think I would have started to get a complex. I just had to end his supremacy.”
Reynolds (Grand Blanc) said he didn’t do anything fancy to capture the win. He just played steady, solid golf and steered clear of the extreme rough at Battle Creek. Still, he said his round against Zylstra was probably the best he has played thus far this season.
“I drove very well and was only in the rough a couple of times,” said Reynolds. “In this rough here, you have to be almost standing on the ball before you can see it. I think I had 5 or 6 birdies and maybe one bogie. It just seemed like I was able to hit shots inside of him and keep the pressure on inside of him.”
Reynolds commended Battle Creek CC for rebounding so quickly from a severe storm that hit the area last weekend. Despite losing power for several days and dealing with several downed trees, the course was ready for competition when the Senior Match Play began on May 31.
“They did a remarkable job of getting the course playable,” said Reynolds. “I know they had to work very hard and each day, the course got a little better. It was a fun course to play.”
Willie Park Jr. designed both Battle Creek CC and Reynolds’ home course, Flint Golf Club. He could see the similarities as he worked his way around the golf course.
“The bunkering around the greens, the couture of the greens and the green speed is about the same as ours,” said Reynolds. “So there is not that much to adjust.”
In the Super-Senior Division, Claud Johnston (Ann Arbor) prevailed 1 up over Fred Behymer. After three days of great success on the greens, Johnston’s putting unraveled in today’s final round. Fortunately, his drives and his iron play was enough to keep things competitive.
“I hit the ball real good and I putted very terrible,” said Johnston. “I had three birdies but I also three-putted about six times so I made it a little too exciting for myself. I just couldn’t get the speed of the greens today.”
Johnston welcomed the opportunity to participate in a match play tournament – something that doesn’t happen very often.
“I really enjoy the match play and I’m glad that they put it into the mix a couple of years ago for the seniors,” said Johnston.