FARMINGTON HILLS – John Morgan of Novi was the Golf Association of Michigan Player of the Decade for the 1980s, but his busy schedule as global director of sales for automotive parts manufacturer Yazaki with primary responsibilities in working with General Motors made him a weekend-only golfer for 20 years.
“It was impossible to practice or play in tournaments with all the travel I was doing and the responsibilities I had,” he said. “I had not competed for close to 20 years in GAM events. Then I retired, started practicing and got the bug again.”
The bug resulted in stellar play for the 65-year-old Morgan, a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, former Michigan Amateur champion, two-time GAM Champion and three-time GAM Mid-Amateur Champion.
He played in two championships and won both – the Super Senior Division at the GAM Senior Match Play Championship to start the season and the GAM Super Senior Championship. He topped the 2023 Super Senior Men’s Points List and has been named the GAM Super Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann senior director of competitions and USGA services, announced today.
“It means a lot just to have been able to play well enough to compete again,” Morgan said. “I was off so long from competition and I finally felt good about my game again. Playing well in both tournaments was wonderful and then winning them was the icing on the cake. I feel very fortunate.”
Morgan, a Detroit Golf Club member, had 225 points for the season. Ian Harris of Bloomfield Hills and a TPC Michigan member, won the Super Senior Division at the GAM Mid-Amateur and was second with 122.5 points.
John Barbour of Grand Rapids and Cascade Hills Country Club was third with 103.5 points and three golfers finished tied at 90 points – Stephen Jeske of Birmingham and Oakland Hills Country Club, Ron Perrine of Holt and Forest Akers Golf Course and Mike Raymond of Jackson and Country Club of Jackson.
The two wins in his first year of retirement gave Morgan nine GAM titles for his career, and he is eying getting to double figures.
“I like the thought of getting to 10,” he said. “I’ve always been one of those guys who had the most fun in golf when competing. All those years I wasn’t competing I also wasn’t practicing. Now, it’s fun again. I look forward to competing and plan to add more events. The GAM with Golf Genius and everything they do online has impressed me, too. Everything is better run than I ever remembered. It’s great to be a part of it again.”
Hartmann, who has been with the GAM for 22 years, said he had heard of Morgan but didn’t think he had ever watched him play.
“I was excited to watch him and see what he was capable of doing,” he said. “He can still play. He went up against (Bill) Zylstra in the final match of the Super Senior at the Match Play and that’s no easy task. Bill has been one of the best senior players in Michigan for the last 15 years. John was behind early in that match, but he was steady, made some good putts, never missed a shot and came back and won it. It was impressive. It will be interesting to see how much he plays now that he is retired. He played in two tournaments against great competition and won them both. That tells you something right there.”