This is the first of seven features that will focus on the two teams and five individuals that will make up the next inducted class of the Alma College Athletic Hall of Fame. This class was scheduled to be inducted in 2020, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic it will now be inducted in the fall of 2021. To learn more about the entire incoming class click here.
Alma, Mich. – The 1964 Alma College men's golf team dominated the competition from start to finish throughout its campaign. The Scots won all six of their MIAA dual matches and then capped off the season with a record-breaking performance at the conference tournament to become MIAA Champions.
The team was comprised of eight players that included John Peace, Denton Nelson, John Perrin, Paul Riddell, Mike Tucker, Al Baker, John O'Dell, and Pete Sawyer, with Art Smith as the Head Coach
During the season the Scots outclassed the rest of the MIAA, defeating their opponents by large margins for most of their dual matches. The closest contest came against Kalamazoo where Alma came out on top, 8.5-7.5, at Gull Lake Country Club in the rain. In non-conference play, Alma picked up wins against Ferguson Institute, the 2nd Division Army, Grand Valley, Calvin, and Tri-State.
Then came the MIAA Tournament, played at Alwyn Downs Golf Course in Marshall. From 1949-1977, the MIAA determined its champion through a combination of points accumulated in dual meets and the season-ending league tournament, so Alma had already put itself into great position heading into the final event. In the league tournament, each team had to count the scores from all five of its golfers over 36 holes. Peace, Nelson, Perrin, Tucker, and O'Dell were the five chosen to represent the Scots.
The Scots left no doubt with all five golfers finishing in the top 15 of the tournament standings. Perrin, a junior from Midland, shot a dazzling 148 to take first place and earn the title as Tournament Medalist.
The senior captain Peace, an Alma native, finished in a tie for third place with a score of 150 while Tucker, a junior from Tecumseh, also place in the top 10 with a 155. Nelson (158), a freshman from Manistique, and O'Dell (160), a junior from Detroit, rounded out the rest of the scores for Alma as they finished with a total score of 773. This score was lowest ever recorded for a five-man team in MIAA Tournament history.
The 1964 MIAA Title was Alma's second in a row and seventh overall. At the time, the Scots owned the second-most conference championships in the league.
Picture Caption (L-R): John O'Dell, Denton Nelson, John Peace, Mike Tucker, John Perrin, with Coach Art Smith standing below with the championship trophy.