Archives for August 2018

Lee Houtteman of Cedar Survives Playoff to Win Michigan PGA Professional Championship

  FLINT – Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage in Cedar said he didn’t want to say his best years are behind him.

  “But they probably are,” said the 57-year-old teaching professional after he made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole to top Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club and win the 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club Wednesday.

  “So at 57 coming here and winning is really tremendous. I can’t say enough about how good it feels with all these great young players. And being in a playoff with Scott adds frosting to the cake. We used to teach together and I’ve probably played 50 rounds of golf or more with him. He’s a great friend, who five or six years ago helped me with my putting. Amazing how things work out.”

  Houtteman, who won the PGA for the first time and a Michigan Section major for the third time, shot a closing 3-under 69 with a birdie on the par 5 No. 18 hole, the same hole used in the playoff to finish with a 9-under 207 total.

  Hebert, an eight-time champion and the winningest Michigan PGA golfer in history with 16 major section titles, shot 70 for his 207.

   Scott Brotebeck, the host professional, rallied with the low round of the day, a 5-under 67, to thrill the Flint Golf Club members and finish at 208, one shot out of the playoff.

  Houtteman and Hebert actually finished one shot behind Ben Cook of Cascade Hills in Grand Rapids, who shot 69 for 10-under 206, but he wasn’t eligible to win the section title under a Michigan PGA rule that requires 60 days of employment in the Michigan Section of the PGA prior to the major championship.

   Cook did win the $6,700 first place check out of the $54,000 purse, but he was competing in the tournament to earn one of nine spots for the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next April 28-May 1.

   “I beat everybody, won a nice check and I get to go to the PNC,” Cook said. “Those were my goals this week. I understand the situation. This is great for me and my confidence.”

  Hebert and Roth, a four-time past champion, who shot a closing 68 for 210 and fifth overall, will be going to South Carolina next spring as exempt players for being past national championship winners.

  The nine who will join them are Cook, Houtteman, Brotebeck, Bob Ackerman of Bob Ackerman Golf Academy in Commerce Township, who shot 70 for 211, Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook in Northville, who shot 74 for 211, Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, who shot 71 for  212, Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills, who shot 75 for 212, Kyle Martin of Lochmoor in Grosse Pointe Woods, who shot 70 for 213, and defending champion John Seltzer of Blythefield in Grand Rapids, who shot 70 for 213.

  Martin made a birdie in a three-golfer playoff with Seltzer and Steven Vecellio of Birmingham for the last two spots. Seltzer won the other spot after seven holes in the playoff, and Vecellio will be the first alternate.

  Houtteman, who played with Cook in the second-to-last group, said he ignored the fact the former Ferris State University golfer was on top of the leaderboards late in the round. He battled Hebert, who led everybody for a portion of the round, because he wanted his name on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy.

  “Putting my name on that trophy is spectacular,” he said. “I mean some of the names on that are really impressive. I’m just humbled to have my name be on that beautiful trophy. I knew Ben couldn’t take the trophy, so I was ignoring him and watching the leaderboard.

  “I knew I had to make a birdie on the last hole to have a chance at a playoff with Scott. I had about a 10-footer straight in on that one. I expected Scott to birdie in regulation and the playoff, but it didn’t happen.”

   Houtteman said he wanted to thank fellow competitor Jack Seltzer of Jack Seltzer Academy in Grand Blanc who gave him a swing thought to work with after Sunday’s practice round.

  “It clicked,” he said. “I want to thank Jack. That’s what is unique about golf – a fellow competitor will help you in the same tournament. It doesn’t happen in any other sport.”

  Hebert said he was unhappy about his putting over the last 12 holes and in the playoff, but happy for his longtime friend Houtteman.

  “I was half-rooting for Hootie out there,” he said. “I’m just disappointed with how I putted. The first seven or eight holes I played nicely. I’m sure I was leading at the time, but then the rest of the way I could not make putt, not a five-footer, not a 10-footer, nothing. Sometimes that’s the way it goes, and I do feel good for Lee. He has been a great player for a long time in this state.”

RESULTS: For complete scores click HERE

SPONSORS: The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, TaylorMade, Nike, Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.

Spartan Golf Academy’s Chad Kurmel Keeps Lead in Michigan PGA Professional Championship

  FLINT – East Lansing’s Chad Kurmel said he didn’t have the same free-flowing game he had in the first-round, but he managed his game well in the second round of the 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club Tuesday.

  The Spartan Golf Academy teaching professional also managed with a 3-under 69 to build a three-shot lead over four golfers. He was at 10-under 134, and three shots back was the foursome of eight-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, who rallied with a 67, Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, who shot 70, Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club, who shot 68, and Ben Cook of Cascade Hills in Grand Rapids, who shot 71.

  “I managed it around despite a little bit of nerves today,” said Kurmel who led after round one with a 65. “I knew I didn’t have the same game, but I held together well and didn’t hit any real bad shots and managed the course. I had a better ball-striking day yesterday, and kind of scraped it around today.”

  The 36-hole cut fell at 6-over-par 150 with 64 players advancing to tomorrow’s final round in the 54-hole $54,000 championship.

   The low nine golfers at the end of the tournament, along with Hebert and Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands Resort who are exempt from qualification, will play in the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next  April 28 – May 1. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the world at next year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

  Cook, who is currently tied for second on the leaderboard, is competing in the tournament to earn one of nine spots for the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next April 28-May 1.

  He is ineligible to win the section title and trophy under a Michigan PGA rule that requires 60 days of employment in the Michigan Section of the PGA prior to the major championship.  The Michigan PGA Section Assistant’s Championship he won last week does not fall under the same rule, which is for the major championships only. If he finishes at the top of the leaderboard he will not be declared the champion, though he will win his place’s share of the $54,000 purse.

  “It’s a unique situation where we have really the two tournaments in one – the section championship and the nine spots in the PGA Professional National Championship,” Michigan PGA Executive Director Kevin Helm said. “The rule is there, however, and Ben has been advised of it and understands the situation. We will determine a section champion Wednesday, and we will fill nine spots in the national championship.”

  Cook said he understands the rule, and his goals remain in place.

   “I want to win, and I want to go to the PNC,” he said after an up-and-down road of eight birdies and seven bogeys. “Right now I’m just disappointed with the way I played today. I had four three-putts. My lag putting was really awful.”

  Kurmel, who had a hole-in-one in his first round, called his second round ho-hum.

  “You can’t make a hole-in-one every day, but it would be nice,” he said. “No excitement today. I just managed a good score today.”

  Kurmel, the 2012 South Florida PGA Professional champion, is happy heading to the final round.

  “It’s really all you can ask for, to be in a position to win the tournament,” he said. “It is why all the guys are playing in it, and ultimately you have the nine spots the guys are playing for to go to South Carolina. The main goal is to win, though. That’s what I will be trying to do.”

RESULTS:  For complete results click HERE

SPONSORS: The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, TaylorMade, Nike, Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.

Hole-In-One Helps Michigan PGA Professional Championship Leader Chad Kurmel

  FLINT – With help from a hole-in-one Chad Kurmel of the Spartan Golf Academy at Michigan State University shot 7-under 65 to lead after the first round of the 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club Monday.

  “I hit a lot of solid shots and sometimes you get good bounces and things go your way, and it just happened to be that kind of day,” said the 47-year-old teaching pro who in 2012 won the South Florida PGA Professional Championship while working in Boca Raton.

  Kurmel had a one-shot lead on Ben Cook, an assistant professional at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids. Cook, a Former Ferris State University golfer and 2017 graduate, was the winner of the Northern Ohio PGA Professional Championship last year while working in the Cleveland area and a week ago won the Michigan PGA Section Assistants Championship.

  Kurmel aced the No. 2 hole, a 168-yard par 3, with a 7-iron. It was the fifth hole-in-one of his golf career, and the third in competition.

  “I took advantage of the par 5s, and you have to do that with five of them out there,” he said. “I hit solid shots all day really, gave myself a lot of birdie chances and it is nice when a hole-in-one happens during a good round.”

   Travis Dodson, an assistant professional at Meadowbrook in Northville, shot 67 to stand third alone, and Jim Dieters, the head professional at Midland Country Club, and Bryan Harris of Forest Akers West, each shot 68.

  Seven golfers shot 69, including host professional Scott Brotebeck, and three-time champion Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, who also had a hole-in-one Monday. He aced the No. 17 hole with an 8-iron shot at 160 yards. It was the 16th hole-in-one of his golf career.

  Also shooting 69 were 2010 champion Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, Donald Devantier of Cracklewood Golf Club in Macomb, Jason Guss of Jason Guss Academy in Bath, Reed Black of Spring Meadows in Linden and Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills in Franklin.

  Defending champion John Seltzer of Blythefield near Grand Rapids, and eight-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club were in the crowd at 70.

   A cut will be made to the low 60 scorers and ties after Tuesday’s second round in the 54-hole, $54,000 championship.  The low nine golfers at the end of the tournament, along with Hebert and Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands Resort who are exempt from qualification, will play in the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next  April 28 – May 1. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the world at next year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

  Cook, a former Ferris State University golfer who is working at an assistant at Cascade and headed back to the Latin American Tour and Web.com Qualifying in the fall, said he has been playing well all summer and he likes the Flint Golf Club course, a classic Willie Park design.

  “This course definitely suits my game with the five par 5s and I think I hit four of them in two,” he said. “I was doing what I should do – birdie the par 5s and kind of go from there.”

  He made five consecutive birdies in the round, which tied his personal best string. That stretch includes three par 5 holes, Nos. 9, 11 and 12, and he had two-putt birdies after reaching the green in two shots on the trio.

  “The greens were rolling great, and it’s pretty soft so you can throw iron shots right at the flag,” he said. “And five par fives are helpful, too.”

For complete scores click HERE

PGA Jr. League Michigan State Championship

PGA Jr. League Michigan State Championship

Contested at Binder Park Golf Course in Battle Creek, MI

Day One-Qualifier

230 kids from all over the state of Michigan joined us on our adventurous journey to crown a new PGA Jr. League State Champion. The All-Star Teams are comprised of 10 kids who represent the teams within their league.  Each team has a PGA/LPGA Captain. The 23 teams were broken up into 4 different pods with 5-6 teams in a pod. Each pod would compete with against each other for an opportunity to advance to the Final Four Match Play Championship.

Format: Stroke Play Aggregate Score-each team sent out 2 groups of 2 players and 2 groups of 3 players. The team is playing a two person scramble. Some of the groups do have a third player who will alternate in-out of competition. Each child will play at least 6 holes to contribute to the team score. Players record their scores for each hole. We take the best 3 out of 4 scores for the Team’s total. The lowest score from each pod will advance to the Final Four Match Play Championship. The teams play 9 holes.

Results:

AM Preserve Pod

Spartan Golf Academy @ MSU

Captain: Alex Lorencz                    Score: 140

Casually Legendary

Captain: Lynn Janson                     Score: 123

Southwest Michigan

Captain: Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn                                Score: 145

Angry Birdies

Captain: Jeff Hilbert                       Score: 137

Wie Love Golf

Captain: Ebon Saunders                                Score: 151

Birdie Bandits

Captain: Ty Bouwens                     Score: 125

 

AM Marsh Pod

TreeTops

Captain: Joe Charles                       Score: 146

It’s a Par-Tee

Captain: Matt Swan                        Score: 116

Grip it & Rip it

Captain: Raquel Bryant                 Score: 128

Traverse City

Captain: Scott Wilson                    Score: 101

 Golf Warriors

Captain: Andre Pillow                   Score: 127

 

 

PM Preserve Pod

Birdies Come Easy

Captain: Chris Osentoski              Score: 149

May The Course Be With You

Captain: Will Ellender                   Score: 152

Don’t Rory Be Happy

Captain: Tim Strickland                 Score: 108

Sandy Savers

Captain: Kevin Kaczocha               Score: 120

Teach Me How To Birdie

Captain: Mitch Bos                          Score: 133

Hear Me Rory

Captain: Stephanie Jennings      Score:127

 

PM Marsh Pod

Tee-Rific

Captain: Jeff Stalcup      Score: 100

Tee it High Let it Fly

Captain: Paul Toski         Score: 122

Putts & Pars

Captain: Kelly Sivier       Score: 115

Country Club of Detroit

Captain: Justin Pollock  Score: 130

Dude Where’s My Par?

Captain: Doug Brody      Score: 92

Birmingham Country Club

Captain: Steve Vecellio                Score: 142        

 

  

 

Casually Legendary 

Dude, Where’s My Par

Don’t Rory Be Happy

Traverse City

Day Two- Final Four Match Play Championship

Day Two started with a morning shotgun where the AM Pods would verse each other & the PM Pods would verse each other in a Match Play Format. PGA Jr. League uses Match Play for their regular season. The juniors are still playing a two-person scramble. Each pairing is competing in three 3-hole matches worth one point each. The teams are playing for 12 points.

Results:

Dude, Where’s My Par was victorious over Don’t Rory Be Happy and would face off with the Traverse City team who rose to victory over Casually Legendary.

Match 1 Results:

Dude, Where’s My Par-7 points VS. Don’t Rory Be Happy 5 points

Traverse City- 9.5 points VS. Casually Legendary 2.5 points

The final match was played in the afternoon with Dude, Where’s My Par competing against Traverse City again using the Match Play Format. After a three hour rain delay the matches were finally completed with Dude, Where’s My Par rising to victory with 7 Points over Traverse City with 5 Points.

Championship Match:Dude, Where’s My Par- 7 points VS. Traverse City- 5 Points

 

We would like to thank Ron Osborne for hosting and his AMAZING staff at Binder Park as well as the PGA of America crew who traveled great distances to help out with the event. THANK YOU Ron, Kim, Kara and Steve! 

 

 

 

97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship starts Monday at Flint Golf Club

  FLINT – The 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is Monday through Wednesday at Flint Golf Club, and in addition to being a state championship for Michigan golf professionals it serves as the starting point on the road to major championship golf with the best players in the world at the PGA Championship of 2019.

  Defending champion John Seltzer III, the head professional at Blythefield Country Club near Grand Rapids, heads the field of 127 professionals in the $54,000 championship on the storied Flint Golf Club course designed by famed architect Willie Park Jr.

  A cut will be made to the low 60 scorers and ties after Tuesday’s second round in the 54-hole tournament. The low nine golfers at the end of the tournament, along with Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club and Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands Resort who are exempt from qualification, will play in the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next  April 28 – May 1. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the world at next year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

  Eight-time champion Hebert (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’14, ’16) and four-time champion Roth (1998, ’99, 2001, ’03) are two of 13 former Michigan PGA champions in the field, including John Seltzer, the defending champion, three-time winner Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center (1996, 2000, 2013), two-time winner Steve Brady of Oakland Hills Country Club (1993, ’95), two-time winner Barry Redmond of Crooked Tree Golf Club (1990, ‘92), Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club (2015), Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson (2010), Joe Pollack of Golf Cars Plus (2004), Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy (1997), Jack Seltzer of Jack Seltzer Golf Academy (1988), John Traub of Berkley (1984) and Randy Erskine of Rochester (1978).

  Flint Golf Club dates to 1910 as a social club, and the course was opened in 1919. Park, a two-time British Open champion turned designer, fashioned a parkland golf course that has stayed true to its roots over the years. It can play as long as 6,671 yards at par 72. Somewhat unique to the Park design are five par-3 and five par 5 holes.

  Flint Golf Club is hosting the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for the second consecutive year. It has been a regular host to Golf Association of Michigan tournaments over the years, including the 2001 Michigan Amateur Championship, and it has also hosted golf legends. Sam Snead set the course record in June 1963 shooting a 61.

  Flint Golf Club’s staff is headed by General Manager Troy Stieve. Scott Brotebeck is the head PGA Professional and the Superintendent is Jim Moore.

  Last year Seltzer, the son of 1988 champion Jack Seltzer, made a two-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole and won the 96th Michigan PGA Professional Championship in storybook fashion. Seltzer, whose story includes working as a bag shop employee at Flint Golf Club during his high school years in nearby Grand Blanc, bested Andrew Dodson of GolfTEC-Novi in the playoff at 7-under 209.

  Seltzer and Dodson each shot 3-under 69 to set up the playoff, and then both made 5 on the par 5 No. 18 hole that was used as the first playoff hole. They went to No. 1, another par 5, where both had chip shots near the green for their third shots. Seltzer pitched his from about 45 feet to two feet, and Dodson chipped from heavy rough just left of the green to about eight feet. Dodson’s birdie attempt faded past the hole and Seltzer knocked his in for the win.

  The Michigan PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert and Horton Smith.

  The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, TaylorMade, Nike, Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.

  See michiganpgagolf.com for more information, live scoring during the tournament and tee times. Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free. More information on Flint Golf Club is available at flintgolfclub.com.

SCORING: A link for tournament scoring can be found HERE

Ben Cook wins the Michigan PGA Section Assistants Championship

Ann Arbor, MI -On Monday, August 13, at the Polo Fields of Ann Arbor, 43 PGA assistants teed off in the 2018 National Car Rental Michigan PGA Assistants Championship. This was both a Michigan Championship event, and a qualifier for the 42nd National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, which is to be held at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida on November 15 through 18. 

The event on August 13, was open for three qualifier spots and three alternate spots. Ben Cook, from Cascade Hills Country Club, fired a three under 69 to take the lead for the first round. Following him, were 10 golfers within four strokes. Ben followed up his first round with a one under 71 to shoot a two round total of 140 (-4 under) and capture his first Michigan PGA Assistants Championship and also advance to the National Championship. Coming in second place with a two round total of 141 (-3 under) was Travis Dodson from Meadowbrook Country Club. Ezekiel Schwartz from Walnut Creek Country Club fired a five under 67 in his second round to tie for 3rd place with Darren Husse and Josh Burt who all shot a two round total of 143 (-1 under). All three players entered a sudden death playoff to determine the final qualifying spot, in which both Ezekiel and Darren would birdie the first playoff hole, eliminating Josh Burt. On the second playoff hole Ezekiel went go on to make par and beat Darren Husse for the final spot for the National Championship.

Congratulations to Ben Cook, Travis Dodson and Ezekiel Schwartz who all qualified and will represent the Michigan PGA Section at the National Championship.

Thank you to the Polo Fields of Ann Arbor for hosting this championship.

For final results click HERE

Joe Pollack wins the Michigan Senior PGA Professional Championship

Harbor Springs, MI –  Joe Pollack from Yamaha Golf Cars Plus made the most of his Michigan Senior PGA Professional Championship debut by shooting 69 in the final round to win by one shot.

67 Michigan Senior PGA Professionals teed it up on Monday and Tuesday on the Farms / Birches course at Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club. This is the 6th year in a that Birchwood Farms in Harbor Springs has hosted this championship and it always makes for a spectacular event.  

The players were not only competing for the championship and the $14,700 purse, but also 8 qualifying spots for the  30th  Senior PGA Professional Championship supported by Golf Advisor and John Deere to be held October 25 – 28 ,2018 at PGA Golf Club.

After Round 1 we had 4 players tied the top with rounds of (-2) under par 70 – Jeff Roth from Boyne Highlands, Al Kuhn from Oakhurst Golf & CC, Lee Houtteman from Manitou Passage Golf Club and Ron Beurmann from the Country Club of Jackson. With 10 players within 3 shots of the lead we knew it would make for an exciting last round.

After some scrambling pars on the first 8 holes Joe turned it on with birdies on #9, #12 and #14 on his way to a final round 69 (-3), which put him at (-4) for the tournament ,good enough for a one shot victory over Ron Beurmann and Jeff Roth.

In the Super Senior (70 and older ) Division it was Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Larry Mancour edging out Nick Berklich, former long -time professional at Warwick Hills Country Club by one shot.

Along with Joe Pollock the following players will represent the Michigan PGA Section this coming October at the 30th Senior PGA Professional Championship supported by Golf Advisor and John Deere : Ron Beurmann, Jeff Roth, Kevin Muir from The Wyndgate, Lee Houtteman, Al Kuhn from Oakhurst Golf & CC, Brian Cairns from the Fox Hills Learning Center and Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook Country Club .Frank secured the last spot with a playoff win over Dave Kendall from the Kendall Golf Academy, Dave will be the 1st Alternate.

We would like to thank Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club for opening their doors and welcoming this Championship. The golf course was in great shape and always provides a beautiful setting in Northern Michigan.

For final results and payout click HERE

Great Scott: Traverse City’s Alex Scott Shoots 61, Wins Playoff at Tournament of Champions

  BOYNE FALLS – Traverse City’s Alex Scott shot the best round of his life Wednesday tying the course and tournament record with an 11-under 61, and then had to win a sudden-death playoff with Mackenzie Tour PGA-Canada professional Sam Weatherhead of Grand Rapids.

  The Grand Valley State University golfer did that too – with a birdie on the second playoff hole at the Alpine course – and became the first amateur to win in 27 years of the Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.

  “Oh yeah, I did shock myself,” he said after making the eight-foot birdie putt to win the playoff on hole No. 16.  “My phone is blowing up in my pocket right now. I shocked myself, so it’s not surprising I shocked a few others.”

  Scott’s 61 left him at 15-under 201 for the tournament, and Weatherhead dropped a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to shoot 68 for 201 and force the playoff.

  Both played to par on the first playoff hole (par 5 No. 18) with Weatherhead just missing an eight-foot birdie attempt. At the par 4 No. 16, Weatherhead missed a 10-foot birdie putt, and then Scott made his 8-footer to win.

  “I’ve been in a lot of playoffs now, and the same thing happens every time,” said Weatherhead, a former Michigan State golfer. “Whoever fails to put the nail in the coffin first is usually the one who ends up coming in second. Once I had a good look at birdie on the first playoff hole and missed it, I knew it was going to be harder work, and Alex didn’t miss when he got the good look for birdie (on the second playoff hole).”

  Weatherhead, headed to Web.com qualifying in the fall, netted the first-place check of $8,000 as the low pro in the championship. Scott took home the trophy and a $750 gift certificate, the most allowed for amateurs under the rules of golf.

  Scott, who started the final round on the Alpine course eight shots off the lead of Eric Lilleboe of Okemos, birdied the first two holes, had a tap-in eagle that was almost a double-eagle on No. 5 and shot 6-under 30 on the front nine. He wasn’t finished. He followed it up with another eagle-3 on the par 5 No. 12 hole with a 60-foot putt to highlight a 31 on the back nine.

  “I knew a low score was coming,” said Scott, who will be a senior at Grand Valley this fall and is playing in the upcoming U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. “I’ve been talking with my dad and we knew it was coming,” he said. “I needed to shot a low score in a tournament, one of those where you know early you are going low and everything keeps going in. I didn’t expect 61. I’ve never done that before, but once I got it going I didn’t back up, I didn’t back down. It took some luck. There was luck in both eagles, but I kept grabbing driver and saying let’s go make birdie.”

  Lilleboe, a 30-year-old mini-tour pro, shot 70 to close at 214, just missing a final eagle putt at No. 18 in regulation play that would have put him in the playoff, too.

  Michigan Open champion Jake Kneen of White Lake, the recent Oakland University graduate who with Scott is making this the year of the amateurs in Michigan golf, shot 67 for 206 and fourth place, and Meadowbrook Country Club assistant Travis Dodson shot 69 for 208 and fifth.

  Four pros – defending champion Mike Nagy of Manistique, Willie Mack III of Grand Blanc, Randy Hutchison of Traverse City and first-round leader Chris Mory of Haslett – tied at 209. Boyne Golf teaching professional Jeff Roth, a five-time Tournament of Champions winner and one of 16 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members in the field, shot 68 for 210, and two-time Tournament of Champions winner Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon shot 69 for 210 to round out the top 10.

  It was Ruthkoski, who won the TOC in 2013 and ’14, who set the record of 61 on the Alpine during the first round in 2015.

  Scott, a Golf Association of Michigan Champion last summer and the GLIAC Golfer of the Year during school, said it was hard to put into words how he felt winning the unique championship that brings together juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. All the golfers invited have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional.

  “It’s amazing,” he said. “There are so many great players in the field. It wasn’t realistic to think I would shoot 61 today. The odds say I couldn’t do because I never have done it before. My lowest before this was a 64 in qualifying at college. But I did it. It’s a good feeling.”

  He credited his golf instructor Scott Hebert, who as a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and former Tournament of Champions winner was also in the tournament, his family and Grand Valley teammates and coaches afterward. He also said Lilleboe inspired him with comments after he shot 73 and Lilleboe shot 66 to open the tournament.

  “Eric was a (NCAA) Division II golfer like me – he played at Ferris State,” he said. “He told me I was probably the best player in Division II and I should realize it, step up and play like it. It motivated me, and I had this great day. It’s amazing.”

  The 23-year-old Weatherhead, who started the day one shot off the lead and seven ahead of Scott, said the first-place money will help as he continues to pursue his dream of playing on the PGA Tour. The former Michigan Amateur champion said he was not hanging his head as he departed.

  “I still wanted that trophy, the feeling of winning outweighs the nice check, but the check eases the pain for sure,” he said and laughed. “I will take what I learned from this and know that I’m playing good enough to beat a lot of great golfers besides Alex’s 61. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to me every time I’m in the hunt.”

For final results click HERE

Michigan PGA Member, Monty Elam, Named 2018 PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award Winner

A HUGE congratulations to Michigan Section PGA Member, Monty Elam, PGA, for being named the 2018 PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award Winner!
 
“What an amazing story of true grit, determination and perseverance. Life gave Monty a raw deal and in his situation, most would give up hope, some would keep doing what they were doing, but only a very select few would do what Monty did. He went out and made himself even more of an asset to his facility. He is a model PGA Professional that we all should learn from,” said Michigan PGA President, Kevin McKinley.
 
William “Monty” Elam, a 23-year PGA Member in the Michigan PGA Section, is the PGA Director of Golf at Whiteford Valley Golf Club in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.
 
The Deacon Palmer Award honors a PGA Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life.
 
In 2007, Elam had a routine eye procedure that went terribly wrong and left him completely blind. After six months, a special procedure enabled him to regain limited sight in his left eye, while he remained completely blind in his right eye.
 
The advice from health professionals was to give up his dream and leave the golf business. However, Elam knew that was NOT an option, as he was ready to tackle the new challenges he faced, while determined to continue his lifelong passion as a PGA Member.
 
Elam’s ability to adapt to different situations, combined with his knowledge of club operations and impeccable attention to detail, has allowed him to re-assume a leadership role at his club.
 
Elam is an advocate for individuals with special needs, as his facility hosts several programs annually for golfers with disabilities. And, his work with the Northwest Ohio Sight Center is close to his heart, as he enjoys giving lessons to blind golfers. Elam is an inspiration through his actions and commitment to excellence on a daily basis.
 
When Monty found out he won the Deacon Palmer Award, he said, “My family was very excited and are very proud. I am very honored and humbled by the award. It means a lot that it is associated with Arnold Palmer and his Dad. I always idolized Mr. Palmer, especially after meeting him in one of my PGA classes in Orlando many years ago. I know it is a tremendous honor to be receive this award, but for me it is just an honor being able to do what I love everyday, despite my disability.”
 
Monty is one of only 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section that will be awarded a PGA of America 2018 National Award. The Deacon Palmer Award will be presented on Nov. 6, as part of the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California.
 
Congratulations, Monty!!!

Dan Pasternak, James Sieckmann Headline 2018 PGA of America National Award Recipients

Pasternak Named PGA Golf Professional of the Year,
Sieckmann PGA Teacher of the Year; Lead Class of 12 Honorees 

Editor’s Note:
For images of the 2018 PGA of America National Award recipients, please click here.

For more information on the individual award winners, click here.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2018) – Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club, has been named the 65th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In winning the highest annual honor given to a PGA Golf Professional, Pasternak heads the 2018 PGA National Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service” to the PGA and the game of golf overall.

As the first-ever PGA Professional to assume the role of General Manager at the 122-year old Essex Fells Country Club, Pasternak has enjoyed a distinguished 22-year career as a PGA Member. A selfless leader and mentor, Pasternak has guided more than 20 former assistants and colleagues to PGA Head Professional status. This is part of an unrelenting passion to ensure his fellow colleagues and young professionals are equipped with the tools needed to advance in their careers.

Pasternak, the first New Jersey PGA Section Member named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, has served as a New Jersey PGA Section Officer and on virtually every committee in the Section, as well as at the national level on the PGA of America’s Board of Directors. This commitment to volunteerism and service is reinforced by his current role as President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which he helped launch in 2004, as the charitable arm of the NJPGA. Additionally, recognizing the importance of continued education, he recently earned certification in General Management through the PGA Certified Professional Program.

The 2013 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient on the national level, Pasternak also received the award from the New Jersey PGA Section on four occasions (2007, ’08, ’09, ’11). Among his many awards, he is also a two-time recipient of the NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2007, ’11).

James Sieckmann, a 23-year PGA Member in the Nebraska Section and the PGA Director of Instruction at The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”

Recognized by GOLF Magazine as a “Top 100 Teacher in America,” Sieckmann currently instructs 16 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Tringale, Ben Marten, Tom Pernice Jr., Duffy Waldorf and 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion In-Kyung Kim, among others. He has also been named to Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers in America” list from 2015-2018.

Sieckmann is highly regarded as a mentor, educator and role model for fellow PGA Members. His recognition as 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year follows a long list of awards and accolades, including nine times as the Nebraska PGA Section’s Teacher of the Year (1996, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’04, ’09, ’14, ’15, ’16). He was also named the Nebraska Section Horton Smith Award Winner in 2000, and was inducted into the Nebraska Golf Association’s Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.

“The PGA of America National Awards winners represent the best of the best among our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “Their expertise and acumen for both the game and business of golf is so highly respected throughout the industry. Through their best practices and innovations in teaching, coaching, management, merchandising, growth-of-the-game initiatives, community and veterans outreach, and much more, they have earned the admiration of their peers. Congratulations to this outstanding class of PGA Members who serve as consummate PGA Professionals.”

Pasternak and Sieckmann lead a group of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section in winning the PGA of America’s 2018 National Awards. The majority of the awards will be presented on Nov. 6, as part of the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California. The three PGA Merchandiser of the Year Awards will be presented during the 2019 PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference prior to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando next January.

Recipients of the 2018 PGA of America National Awards include:

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year:
    Dan Pasternak, PGA, Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club
  • PGA Teacher of the Year:
    James Sieckmann, PGA, The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge C.C.-Omaha, Nebraska

  • PGA Youth Player Development Award:
    Cameron Milton, PGA, Polson (Montana) Bay G.C.

  • Bill Strausbaugh Award:
    Cameron Doan, PGA, Preston Trail G.C.- Dallas

  • Horton Smith Award:
    Joseph Hallett, PGA, Vanderbilt Legends G.C.-Franklin, Tennessee

  • PGA Player Development Award:
    Marvol Barnard, PGA/LPGA, Haven G.C.- Green Valley, Arizona

  • Patriot Award:
    Ken Juhn, PGA, Terrace Hill Golf Center- Temple Terrace, Florida

  • Deacon Palmer Award:
    Monty Elam, PGA, Whiteford Valley G.C.- Ottawa Lake, Michigan

  • Herb Graffis Award:
    Colorado PGA Section

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Facilities:
    Nick Muller, PGA, C.C. of Lincoln (Nebraska)

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Facilities:
    Mark Rashell, PGA, The G.C. at Newcastle (Washington)

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Resort Facilities:
    Erik Wilson,PGA, Fairmont Grand G.C.- San Diego

    For bios and information on the individual award winners, click here.

    About the PGA of America
    The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

    Media Contact:
    Michael Abramowitz    PGA of America        561/624-8458 mabramowitz@pgahq.com