After battling inclement weather that rained-out and postponed last year’s tournament, this year the conditions were picture perfect and the sun shining upon the impressive field of amateur golfers competing in the 54-hole three-day 68th Annual Saginaw District Golf Tournament, which was held over the weekend of June 24-26th at Apple Mountain Golf Club in Freeland.
The sun was also shining upon the winner of the Open Division as Mike Wenglikowski won his third straight District title, which recognizes him as the best golfer in Saginaw County with a 3-day total of 1-over par 217. He won by seven shots over runner-up Nick Krattiger, who was leading after the first day of the tournament by three shots.
On three times in the 68-year history of the Saginaw District has someone secured three straight titles three years in a row. Ron Stelter did it twice from 1962-64 and from 1968-70; and Matt Pumford also accomplished this feat from 2012-14.
The winner of the Fred Martin, Jr. trophy for lowest scoring player 50 years and older in the Open Division was Todd Essex - a first time champion with a score of 236, who won by 3-shots over Roger Pumford.
Winning the Legends Title, which goes to Senior Golfers 50 years and older playing from -6200 yards was Dan Hughes, a former 4-time open division champion, who won his first Legends Title in his first attempt, shooting a 1-under par 215 score for three days and winning by 10 shots over runner-up Terry Franz.
Finally, winning the 21 Club Title for the lowest scoring player 21 and under in the Open Division was Alex McCarthy - a first time champion with a score of 229 who won by 6 shots over last year’s champion Ashton DiBlasi.
Beginning back in 1955, The Saginaw District Golf Association’s annual Invitational Tournament has been held each year at different golf courses throughout Saginaw County for 68 years. Next year’s tournament will be hosted by The Sawmill.
With an intent & purpose centered upon the objective of identifying the very best amateur golfer in Saginaw County, starting back in 2020, sponsor & tournament proceeds have allowed the SDGA to make a donation to The First Tee of Eastern Michigan in order to help introduce youth to the game of golf and its inherent values.
“Our focus over the last few years has been to grow the game of golf in the area,” explains Trace Hendrick, SDGA Chairman. “Through our discounted entry fees and relationship with the First Tee, we’ve continued to increase the amount of young golfers in the Open Division field and this year we had a record ten players competing for our 21-Club Title.”
Since its inception back in 1955, the Saginaw District Golf Association's annual District Invitational Tournament evolved and grew over the decades thanks in large part to the vision of former Saginaw News Sports Editor Joe Hart, and the tireless effort and commitment of long-time SDGA Board of Directors Chairman and my late father Fred Martin Jr, who passed away on the 50th anniversary of the tournament back in 2004..
Ron Stelter is the dean of participants, having played in every District Tournament from its inception in 1955 through 2012. In the years from 1956 to 1979, Ron Stelter and Stan Murphy owned the District, accounting for wins in 15 of the 24 Tournaments. Ron's 10 victories likely will stand as a record for many years to come. Stan Murphy and Matt Pumford both have 5 Hart Trophies - tied for second on the list of multiple champions. Danny Hughes is third all-time with 4 victories. Craig Barber has 3 followed by Mike Anderson, Tom Doozan, Terry Franz, Mike Humphrey, Nick Pumford and Walt Van Sickle as two time winners.
For a complete list of scoring and overall results and to learn more about the Saginaw District Golf Tournament, please visit their website at www.saginawdistrictgolf.com.
16th November, 2023