Written By: Greg Johnson
CLARKSTON – Peter Farner of Twin Beach Country Club in Commerce Township and Chelsea Collura of West Shore Golf & Country Club in Grosse Ile closed out the tournament season with wins in the GAM Tournament of Champions presented by BOYNE Golf Monday at Oakhurst Golf & Country Club.
Champions, male and female, eligible for having won a GAM member club championship or a GAM title this season, played a final 18-hole stroke play tournament.
Farner, 37 and the owner of On Track Garage Door Services in Commerce Township, shot a 2-under 70 to take the men’s title by one shot and win his first GAM tournament.
“I hit my wedges really good today and just didn’t really get in trouble,” Farner said. “I had a great pairing and we had fun out there. I rattled off a couple of birdies (holes 1 and 2) late in the round for us (started on hole 6) and that kept me in there. I was kind of parring the course to death until I made those two.”
Brett McBride of Verona Hills Golf Club in Bad Axe shot 71 to finish second, and three golfers tied with 72s – Brad Bastion of Oakland University Golf & Learning Center, George Cornwell of St. Clair Golf Club and Billy Nelson of Milham Park Golf Club in Kalamazoo.
Farner, a multiple-time club champion who has competed in several GAM tournaments over the years, said it was nice to finally take home a GAM trophy, and he enjoyed that it was in a tournament where his wife Kelly was also playing as a club champion.
“Usually it’s me watching her or her watching me so to play at the same time and to get a win made for a nice day,” he said.
Collura, 30 and owner of Nuggett Leasing in Flat Rock, won the Tournament of Champions for the second time in the last three years. She shot 2-under 70 and won by three shots.
“I played well, hit a lot of greens in regulation but quite frankly didn’t make a lot of putts,” she said. “I continued to stay patient though, kept hitting greens and got a few to drop. I was pretty steady all the way around. I had a bogey on my third hole (17), but that’s the only bogey I had on the day. I hit fairways and greens and kept it steady.”
Monica Veit of Clio Country Club and Casey McDowell of Monroe Golf & Country Club both shot 73s behind Collura. McDowell was declared the winner of the runner-up trophy in a scorecard playoff.
Collura, who earlier this summer qualified for and then played in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, said she was disappointed with her play in the national championship and came into her final tournament of the year with a little chip on her shoulder.
“I wanted to come out, play well and execute,” she said. “I switched coaches at the beginning of this year (works with Ben Bockin of Golf Leadership Academy in Novi) and it has helped. I’m still excited to keep getting better and to keep learning.”
Oakhurst Golf & Country Club also hosted the GAM Senior Tournament of Champions Monday (see related story).