GAM

GOLF ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS TO MAKE MORE MICHIGAN GOLF HISTORY AT BOYNE MOUNTAIN

BOYNE FALLS – The tee sheet each year reads like Michigan golf history or perhaps a hall of fame list.

  The unprecedented and unique Tournament of Champions will feature 54-holes of play and more golf history Monday through Wednesday (July 30-Aug. 1) on the time-tested and popular Alpine course.

  The Michigan PGA and Boyne Mountain Resort will team up for the 21st time to present a state championship for male, female, professional and amateur, senior and junior state champions. The professionals play for a purse of $50,000, and everybody in the field plays for the winner’s traditional green jacket, an honorary lifetime membership to Country Club of Boyne, pride and honor in the event that uses different strategic tee positions to allow the elite field to compete for one title.

  This year’s field of 99 golfers includes six previous Tournament of Champions winners, including defending champion Lee Houtteman of Grand Traverse Resort, who a year ago made a birdie to win a dramatic three-way playoff with touring professionals Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon and Jeff Cuzzort of Grosse Ile.

   Other former Tournament of Champions winners in the field include six-time Michigan Open champion Scott Hebert of Grand Traverse Resort (2009), Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and Champions Tour player JR Roth (2008, 1999, 1996, 1995), former Champions Tour player Agim Bardha of Birmingham (1994), two-time Michigan PGA Player of the Year Tom Harding of Kendall Academy of Golf in Ypsilanti (1997) and Mike Erickson, the head golf professional at Bloomfield Hills Country Club, who won the second Tournament of Champions event back in 1993.

   Notable 2012 newsmakers in the field include recent Michigan Senior Open champion Ron Buermann of the Country Club of Jackson, who also played in the Senior PGA Championship earlier this summer, 2011 Michigan Open champion Randy Hutchison of Traverse City, who finished in a tie for 45th in the PGA Tour’s recent John Deere Classic, Bill Mory of Meridian Sun Golf Club in Haslett, who recently played in the U.S. Senior Open, Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, who later this summer will play in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C., and former Michigan State golfer Natalie Brehm of Mount Pleasant, the 2010 Michigan Amateur champion and a two-time runner-up in that event, including this year.

   Houtteman was the third senior professional winner last year in the history of the event. Stacy Snider of Grand Rapids in 2003 remains the only female champion. The Tournament of Champions is once again a collection of major tournament winners, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members and future members.

   Golf fans are welcome for free to witness history and meet the state’s great players at the Tournament of Champions, and information and results each day will be available at www.michiganpgagolf.com. Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA is the tournament director.

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