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

Eric Lilleboe of Okemos Leads Heading to Final Round at Tournament of Champions

 

  BOYNE FALLS – Eric Lilleboe said he was a little hot after catching a bad break and making bogey on No. 12, and then missing what he termed a pretty easy putt for birdie on No. 13 of the Monument course at Boyne Mountain Resort Tuesday.

  An eagle-3 on the par 5 No. 14 hole putt made the mini-tour professional from Okemos feel better though, and it powered a 6-under 66 to give him a one-shot lead on Sam Weatherhead of Grand Rapids heading into Wednesday’s final round of the 27th Tournament of Champions.

  “I hit a good wedge shot on 12 and it ended up spinning off the green and I made a bogey, which hurt because I was right next to the hole at one point,” said Lilleboe, a former Ferris State University golfer who topped the leaderboard at 12-under 132.

  “I ended up making eagle on 14 though. I hit a 5-wood in there to about 15 feet and made it. That was really big for me. I really thought I caught a bad break at 12. The eagle turned my round around.”

  Weatherhead, a former Michigan State University golfer with playing status on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, also shot 66 to land at 133.

  The third-place golfer, mini-tour player Randy Hutchison of Traverse City, another former Spartan, finished four shots behind Weatherhead after also shooting a 66.

  First-round leader Chris Mory, another former Michigan State golfer and currently a teacher at the Jason Guss Academy in the Lansing area, shot 73 for 138 to stand fourth.

  Defending champion and mini-tour player Mike Nagy of Manistique, who shot 69, Meadowbrook Country Club pro Travis Dodson, who shot 70, and this summer’s Michigan Open champion, amateur Jake Kneen of White Lake, who shot 71, were each at 139.

  The 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties fell at 7-over 151, and 61 golfers will play the final round on the Alpine course to determine a winner.

  The $55,000 unique championship launched 27 years ago with 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.

  Lilleboe, 30, feels he is ready to win another significant Michigan title.

  “It seems like I’m ready, I feel like I’m ready,” he said. “I’m right where I want to be – in position to have a chance to win.”

   Lilleboe, who used to work at Boyne Mountain Resort for the golf operation, has played the Monument several times.

  “I’ve played the Monument enough to know where you have to land the ball,” he said. “I hit my driver better today, and I picked my landing spots pretty well.”

  In contrast, the 23-year-old Weatherhead played the Monument on Tuesday for the first time.

“Never seen it before,” he said.  “That was the thing I was proud of today. I’ve never played this course so to be able to play smart and do the right thing every time, play conservative when I saw there was trouble ahead, worked for me. I think I’m just getting a little bit smarter at the game. I’ve been around the block one more time now.”

For Complete Scores Click HERE

Haslett’s Chris Mory Leads Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort

  BOYNE FALLS – Haslett PGA teaching professional Chris Mory figures in an odd way he has become a better golfer by just knowing more and playing less.

  “I’m teaching a lot now, but I try to do what I can do to get my game in shape,” he said after shooting a 7-under 65 on the Alpine course to lead through one round of the 27th Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.

  “I hit some close wedges, hit some close irons shots and even made birdie out of a fairway bunker (No. 4),” he said. “Today I just tried to aim to spots where I knew my ball would kind of funnel closer to the hole, and I played a little more conservative and I made a few putts.”

  Mory, 28 and a teacher with the Jason Guss Academy at the Hawk Hollow Properties in the Lansing area, had plenty of close pursuers, mostly from the morning wave that enjoyed perfect warm and windless weather conditions.

   Eric Lilleboe, a 30-year-old mini-tour golfer from Okemos, shot 66, and PGA Tour Champions player Tom Werkmeister of Grandville shot 67 with a 6-under 30 on the back nine, while Sam Weatherhead, a mini-tour player from Grand Rapids shot 67 in the afternoon with three consecutive birdies and an eagle-2 on No. 9 holing out from the fairway on the front nine.

  Recent Michigan Open champion Jake Kneen of White Lake shot 68, and was the low amateur in the first round.

  Scott Hebert, the head golf professional at Traverse City Golf & Country Club, the 2009 winner here, shot 69, as did Travis Dodson of Garden City and Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville. Defending champion Mike Nagy of Manistique opened with a 70.

   The Tournament of Champions field of 113 golfers, which includes 16 golfers already in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, launched 27 years ago with juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. All who are invited have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional.

   The field switches to the Monument course for Tuesday’s second round. A cut will be made following to the low 60 scorers and ties for Wednesday’s final round on the Alpine in the 54-hole $55,000 championship.

  Lilleboe, who is headed back to the Dakotas Tour in a few weeks and planning a trip to Web.com qualifying school in the fall, said he made a bogey and had a three-putt par after reaching the par 5 18th green in two shots.

  “But I made up for it on some of the other holes and really played a solid round of golf,” he said. “Once I started hitting fairways on the back nine I started putting my wedges inside of 15 feet and rolling them in. Those were solid shots.”

  Lilleboe called the unique tournament great.

  “It’s competitive and at the same time you get to feel like you are on vacation up here,” he said. “You know you have to play well out here to win. There are so many good players of all ages. It’s just a great event.”

   In addition to Kneen as low amateur and Werkmeister as low senior professional, the first-round leaders in the other competitor categories included Mike Ignasiak of Saline and Mike Raymond of Jackson at 74 as low senior amateurs, low female professional Laura Kueny of Whitehall at 74, low female amateur Cortney Reno of Grosse Ile at 77 and low super senior Randy Erskine at 71.

For complete scores click HERE

Stellar Field in Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain

  BOYNE FALLS – A field of 118 champion golfers, including 16 who are already members of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, will start play Monday in the 27th Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.

  “It’s another strong field with great champions, professional and amateur, college players, mini-tour professionals and several of our top Michigan PGA Section players and Hall of Fame members,” said Justin Phillips, the tournament director for the Michigan PGA Section, which sanctions and administers the unique championship.


  “It is the 27th year, but it remains one of the most unique tournaments in the country.”

The Tournament of Champions launched 27 years ago with juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. All who are invited have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional.

  The 16 Michigan Golf Hall of Famers in the field include Bob Ackerman, Ken Allard, Steve Brady, Brian Cairns, Randy Erskine, Tom Harding, Scott Hebert, Lynn Janson, Dave Kendall, Larry Mancour, Jeff Roth, Jack Seltzer, John Traub, Tom Werkmeister, Buddy Whitten and Bill Zylstra.

 
They will join champions from all the categories and even members of the same families in the three-day, 54-hole stroke play championship on two courses. The Monday round and Wednesday’s final round are on the classic Alpine course, and Tuesdays round is on The Monument course. A 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties follows the second round. This year’s purse is $55,000.


  Michael Nagy, a mini-tour golfer from Manistique, returns to defend his title and heads the list of eight former Tournament of Champions winners in the field.

  
A year ago the former University of Tennessee golfer finished with a 6-under 66 for a 15-under 201 total and one-shot win. He took home the $8,000 first-place check and annual gifts of the symbolic green jacket and lifetime membership at the Country Club of Boyne in Harbor Springs.


  The past TOC winners joining Nagy in the field are 2016 winner Korey Mahoney, 2015 TOC winner Barrett Kelpin, two-time champion Andy Ruthkoski (2013, ’14), five-time champion Jeff Roth (2012, 2008, 1999, ’96 and ’95), 2011 winner Lee Houtteman, 2009 winner Scott Hebert and 1997 winner Tom Harding. Those winners account for 13 of the 26 TOCs.

 
The only woman to win the TOC, Stacy Snider (2003), is not entered. The group of women entered this year is headed by former LPGA player and Michigan State star Laura Kueny.


  In addition to a celebration of champions, the tournament is a family affair of champions. Family combinations entered include brothers Andrew and Travis Dodson, father-son Jack and John Seltzer, father-son Frank and Frank IV McAuliffe and father-son Bill and Chris Mory.


ABOUT BOYNE MOUNTAIN RESORT:
Boyne Mountain Resort has been a favorite Midwest destination since 1948. The family-owned, four-season resort has earned Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler readers as being among the top 50 Best Places to Ski and Stay in North America. The waterpark is listed among Budget Travel’s Top 10 Indoor facilities and the resort is a readers’ choice favorite of Spa Magazine. Boyne Mountain is home to The Alpine and The Monument golf courses, as well as 60 runs on 415 skiable acres. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Solace Spa, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Zipline Adventures, disc golf facilities, lift-serviced mountain biking, beach activities, kids programs, lodging, meeting and wedding facilities as well as real-estate are offered at the
resort.  Find out more at BOYNEGolf.com, boynemountain.com or call 866-759-1472.


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Connect with media coordinator Greg Johnson at 616-560-8995 or greggie24@hotmail.com. For Boyne Mountain Resort information, contact Ken Griffin at kgriffin@boyne.com or 231-439-4943. Justin Phillips is the tournament director for the Michigan PGA. He can be reached at 517-641-7421 or JPhillips@michiganpga.com.

SCORING: Live scoring and tee times can be found by clicking HERE

NOTE: Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free.

Goulding / Breault win the Midwest Golf & Turf Pro Am presented by PXG /GOLFNOW in Three Team Playoff !

Frankenmuth, MI – If you ask any Michigander what they think of when they hear the names Frankenmuth and Zehnder’s, the two responses you are most likely to receive are Christmas and chicken! This was only part of the story yesterday morning when 46 PGA professionals and their amateurs gathered at The Fortress which played host to the Midwest Golf & Turf Pro Am presented by GolfNow and PXG. The event began with a ten o’clock shotgun with the 92 players spread out all over the golf course in order to compete for a purse of $12,100. This pro- am best ball event had a unique format in which the teams were entered into both a gross and net divisions. This added a little wrinkle in which an amateur receiving a few strokes for their handicap can help their professional immensely by recording a number of low scores on the courses toughest holes. This resulted in a high level of play from both the professionals and their amateurs all looking to lift their trophies at the end of the afternoon.

At the conclusion of play it was 3 teams tied  at (-9) 63 including Brent Goulding from Prestwick Village Golf Club and his amateur partner and 2018 Michigan Amateur winner Beau Breault, Joe Portfilio from Carl’s Golfland alongside amateur Ryan Johnson as well as Jim Deiters from Midland Country Club and his son Austin Deiters. This stalemate called for a three team playoff and with the trio of teams leading both the gross and the net divisions despite the fact that all three amateurs had a handicap of 0. In this format the top team in the sudden-death playoff would be awarded the gross title, while the runners up would receive the net title. The rest of the positions were decided by each teams higher of the two rankings in each division.

The playoff did not disappoint when all three teams made par on the first hole to push the match to a second hole. On the second playoff hole the team of Goulding /Breault made a birdie to take home the gross title. Once they had won, the teams of Portfilio/Johnson and Deiters/Deiters would play on to be crowned with the low net honors. They continued to play on until Portfilio/Johnson sank a birdie on the fourth playoff hole to edge the father-son duo. It was a very thrilling playoff that capped off a phenomenal event.

Brent and Beau both attended and played golf at Eastern Michigan University ,Beau still has one more year remaining. This is Brent’s second time winning this event as he won in 2015 with Chris Cunningham.

We would like to thank all of the participants for playing in the event and providing an exciting day of golf. The venue was spectacular and the golf course was in excellent condition with many players commenting on the quality of the greens and how well-kept the course was despite the lack of rain in the previous weeks. This is all thanks to Head Professional, Kyle Martin and Superintendent, Scott Sabgash along with their crews for all of their hard-work.  We would also like to thank our great sponsors: Midwest Golf & Turf, GolfNow, and PXG for their continued support and affording us the ability to put on this event. In the end, the golfers were still able to enjoy a nice chicken lunch graciously provided by the famous Zehnder’s alongside one of the top courses in Michigan. All of this took place just a block away from the heart of Frankenmuth encompassing everything necessary for a day to be considered as Pure Michigan golf.

Jeff Roth wins the 2018 Club Car Senior Open

   BATTLE CREEK –Congratulations to our 2018 Club Car Senior Open Champion Jeff Roth from Boyne Highlands. Jeff backed up his opening round of  68 on Tuesday with another 68 on Wednesday. This put him at (-8) for the tournament, good for a 3 shot victory over Brian Cairns from the Fox Hills Learning Center, Tom Werkmeister from Grandville and Randy Lewis (a) from Alma, all at (-5).

With 14 players within 4 shots of the lead heading into the final round on Wednesday we knew it would be a shootout. Tom jumped out to the early lead with birdies on the first two holes and a (-2 ) under par front nine. After birdies at #11 and #13 Tom held a 2 shot advantage with 5 holes to play. That is when Jeff made his charge with birdies at #14, #15 and #16 as Tom bogeyed both #16 and #18.  With two nice closing pars Jeff secured his first Club Car Senior Open title.

In the Super Senior Division it was amateur Michael Sequite from Marshall winning by one shot over Mike Fedewa (a) from Canton. Sequite finished at 144 ,even par for the tournament.

We would like to thank our host site Bedford Valley Golf Club along with our sponsor US Golf Cars for making this such a great event.

For final results click HERE

A field of 118 decorated golfers, including PGA Professionals, top amateurs, twelve Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members and fifteen past champions, participated in the  2018 Club Car Senior Open here at Bedford Valley Golf Club.

  12 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members were in the  field including PGA Professionals Bob Ackerman of West Bloomfield and  Bob Ackerman Golf, Brian Cairns from the Fox Hills Learning Center, Randy Erskine of Lake Orion, Lynn Janson of Hastings Country Club, Jack Seltzer of Linden and the Jack Seltzer Golf Academy, Dave Kendall of Saline and the Kendall Golf Academy, Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands and amateurs Steve Maddalena of Jackson, Randy Lewis of Alma, Greg Davies of West Bloomfield and Bill Zylstra of Dearborn Heights. Topping out the field of Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members is Tom Werkmeister from Grandville, who will compete in his first Senior Open after turning 50 in March.

  Jeff joins the list of past champs with Kendall and Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, who are former two-time champions. Janson, Cairns and  Erskine also have Senior Open titles on their rich resumes. The other past champions in the field are Steve Wells of Dowagiac and Hampshire CC, Denis Husse of Fenton and Tyrone Hills, Bob Ackerman of West Bloomfield and Bob Ackerman Golf Academy, Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club Ron English of Charlotte, Larry Clark of Traverse City, Ian Harris of Bloomfield, Chuck Pohl of Lansing , Pete Doerr of Coldwater and Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook Country Club.

The field played 36 holes of stroke play for a purse of $15,700. This was the 37th edition of the state championship for seniors (age 50-and-over), and includes a 65-and-over super senior division.

   Bedford Valley Golf Club is part of the Gull Lake View collection of six courses near Battle Creek and Kalamazoo including the new Stoatin Brae course. Bedford Valley was a 2008-2009 Best Places to Play selection by Golf Digest and in 2010 was named the Michigan Golf Course of the Year by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association.

   It was designed in 1965 by William Mitchell and purchased by the Scott Family of Gull Lake View in 1988. The classic parkland design is known locally as “The Big Course” and features big greens, bunkers and fairways lined with large oak trees.

  Bedford Valley has hosted several of the state’s top tournaments including the Michigan Open, multiple Michigan Senior Opens, the Michigan Maxfli PGA Junior, the Michigan Publinx State Match Play and the NCAA Division III National Championship.

  Click HERE for more info and scores as the players finish

  The tournament director is Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA Section office. He can be reached at jphillips@michiganpga.com or 517-641-7421.

DeWitt’s Liz Nagel Comes From Behind to Win the Michigan Women’s Open Championship

  THOMPSONVILLE – Liz Nagel of DeWitt has been coming to Crystal Mountain Resort for several years, first as a youngster watching and then for the last 10 years playing and often seeing fellow former Michigan State Spartans win.

   The 26-year-old fourth-year professional and former Spartan dramatically joined the club Wednesday by shooting a 4-under 68 and coming from five shots behind to win by three in the 25th Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship on the Mountain Ridge course.

  “This means everything to me,” she said after accepting the $6,000 winner’s check and Crystal trophy. “This is my first professional win and to get it here means everything. It’s the perfect place to get that first pro win, and hopefully more will come after it.”

  Nagel’s closing 68 gave her a 9-under 207. She started the day at 5-under and six off the lead of Lexi Harkins of Crystal Lake, Ill.

  Harkins, a recent University of Wisconsin graduate, shot 77 to close and ended up in a three-way tie at 6-under 209 for second place with recent Michigan State graduate Sarah Burnham of Maple Grove, Minn., and Honolulu’s Marissa Chow, who each shot 72. It was Chow’s second consecutive year finishing second.

  Hannah Wood of Highlands Ranch, Colo., shot 70 for 212 and fifth place, and Scotland’s Rachael Taylor, who now lives in Cary, N.C., shot 72 for 213. The low amateur in the tournament was current Michigan State player Yurika Tanida of Japan, who shot 73 for 218 and a tie for 17th.

  Nagel, who has been on the LPGA as well as Symetra tours, is not a scoreboard watcher, and she was busy filling out a tax form to receive her check from the tournament in the scoring tent when the final group was on 18. She is due in the Cincinnati area for a Symetra Tour pro-am round at 8 a.m. Thursday, and she was preparing to depart before she was told she might be in a playoff.

  “Then I was shocked when all of a sudden everybody is telling me I won,” she said. “I couldn’t help but cry and I’m not a crier. I’m just really happy about this. I’m bummed my parents were not here, but I already talked to my dad and it means a lot to me. It’s just wonderful. It means the world to me.”

   Nagel said she did not look at the scoreboard at 17. She just knew she had some birdies coming in and she was trying to post as low a score as possible. She played the first six holes of the day 2-over, but made six birdies over the final 11 holes and three birdies in the last four holes including birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.

  “It was done with my putting,” she said and credited her caddie and boyfriend, Paul Zanardo, with helping her read the greens.

  “The greens were in the best shape I’ve ever seen them. It was tough out there. I focused on myself and finished birdie-birdie. I knew if I had a chance it was going to take a few more coming down the back nine. I still can’t believe I won by three. Getting up and down from the bunker at 18 for birdie is hard any time, but if I would have been thinking about winning or myself, it would have been 20 times harder. Turns out, it was one of the best up and downs of my life.”

  Burnham, one of the trio in second, said there was tension in the final threesome of her, Harkins and Chow through the day.

  “Honestly, I didn’t have my game today really, and I left a lot of putts out there and missed some greens,” she said. “It was a struggle. It was stressful for all three of us all the way around.”

  Michigan State golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll played in the tournament and tied for 42nd. She coached Nagel, and the champion said it meant a lot that her coach was there to see her win.

  “It’s great to see coach tear up,” she said, “especially after everything she had done for me. It means so much that all these Spartans are here. I’ve been inspired by Spartans coming here and I hope I inspired some of the younger ones today.”

For complete scores click HERE

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Crystal Lake (Ill.) Golfer Leads Michigan Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain

  THOMPSONVILLE – Lexi Harkins of Crystal Lake, Ill., playing in just her second professional tournament, is clear of the field by five shots heading into the final round of the 25th Michigan Women’s Open Championship at Crystal Mountain Resort.

   The 22-year-old recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin shot a 7-under 65 on the Mountain Ridge course Tuesday to check in at 11-under 133 through two rounds of the 54-hole championship.

  “I’m really happy about it, and excited,” she said. “I mean, this is what we always dream of doing. I didn’t necessarily see this coming, but I played well yesterday and I felt good today so I just kept it going.”

  Recent Michigan State graduate Sarah Burnham, likewise a new professional and winner of the recent Connecticut Women’s Open, shot a second consecutive 69 for 6-under and a tie for second with 70-shooting Marissa Chow, a Symetra Tour player from Honolulu who finished second here a year ago.

   Liz Nagel of DeWitt, a Symetra Tour player who led after the first round, shot 72 for 139, six shots back, and was the low player from the state of Michigan in fourth place.

  “I just didn’t put well,” she said. “The greens were faster than the first round when I was comfortable, and I never got the speed right today.”

  Laura Kueny, the 2011 champion from Whitehall, also shot 72 and was at 140, seven shots off the lead.

  The 36-hole cut fell at 13-over 157 and 71 players moved on to the final round in the $40,000, 54-hole championship. The winner, if a professional, will take home a check of $6,000 in the tournament sponsored by Crystal Mountain and Coke. The final group will tee off at 9:39 a.m. Wednesday. The public is welcome.

  Harkins said she can’t remember the last time she had the lead heading into the final round of a tournament. Seconds were here best finish in four years of college golf, including the first three years at North Carolina and her senior year at Wisconsin.

  “I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I just want to keep the confidence level the same. The last two days have been great, so there is no reason to change.”

  Harkins powered her bogey-free round with five birdies and an eagle-3 at the par 5 No. 6 hole via holing out a 65-yard shot with her 60-degree wedge.

  “It was going right at the pin and I saw it disappear,” she said. “I didn’t know it went in, but then I heard everybody cheering. It was cool. I can’t remember the last time I did that.”

  Harkins last win was the 2014 Illinois Women’s Amateur Championship just after she graduated from high school. Her college experience included being a regular in the North Carolina and Wisconsin lineups for four years, and playing in the NCAA Championships.

  “I’ve played well in big tournaments,” she said. “I just didn’t get any wins.”

  She entered the Michigan Open when she heard from other young pros that the Michigan Women’s Open had a strong field that included Symetra Tour players.

  “I played in the Symetra Tour event in Decatur (Ill.) and just want to play against good players this summer,” she said. “Everybody said this one always has a good field and that it’s a good tournament.”


SCORES:  For complete scores click HERE