Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Sixth GAM Women's Championship August 11-12
by Susan Bairley

Golf Association of Michigan's Sixth Women's Championship will be Monday and Tuesday, August 11-12, at Kalamazoo Country Club.

Won last year by Egypt Valley Country Club's Joan Garety at Black River Country Club in Port Huron, the top four finishers probably were of little surprise to those who follow women's amateur golf in Michigan.

Three of the women are past winners of the Michigan Women's Amateur Championship, long considered the premier statewide amateur tournament, and one woman won last year's Michigan Women's Open. Garety won Michigan Women's Amateur Championship in 1982, third place finisher Mary Jane Anderson won the title in 1990 and 1995, and fourth place Stacy Slobodnick, also of Egypt Valley, won in 1996. Second place finisher, Jennifer Kangas, holds the 1996 Michigan Women's Open title.

Although Garety was forecast as a strong contender for the 1996 GAM Women's title, her path to victory was far from easy. After the first round, she was in sole possession of eighth place, out of the lead by four shots. Apparently undeterred, she clearly knew what she had to do.

Responding to the challenge of the strong leaderboard before her, she fired an even-par final round of 72 to capture the 1996 GAM Women's Championship with a 152. Kangas, Anderson and Slobodnik tied at 154, with Kangas winning a playoff to secure second place.

"After the first round, I knew I had my work cut out for me, and that I'd have to shoot around par to even get close to winning," Garety said. "However, I also expected one or two of the leaders to play equally well. I was very pleased to win."

Garety said she looks forward to defending her championship title at Kalamazoo Country Club. "I like the course. It's an old-style course, which is fun to play. It also is in super condition, so it should be a very good test of golf," she said.

"The tournament hosts a strong field with a number of excellent players," Garety added. "Sue Campbell, is a member of Kalamazoo Country Club, so she will know the course very well. Stacy Slobodnick, who won last year's State Amateur, has been very competitive and Mary Jane Anderson is always a strong contender. There are many very fine golfers."

This year's event is open to women amateurs who have a USGA handicap of 15.4 or less and who are individual members of GAM at time of entry. The field is limited to 78 and the third round will be divided into three flights based on handicap.

The overall low gross scorer will have her name added to the Betty Richart Trophy. Richart, an Ann Arbor resident and longtime amateur golf standout, is known locally, regionally and nationally for her work as a rules official and for her volunteer work with various golf organizations including GAM, the Women's District Golf Association and the USGA, having served as chairman of its Women's Committee.

For more information, call GAM at (810) 553-4200.

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