WASHINGTON, Mich. – Barrett Kelpin will return next week to the scene of his remarkable professional debut from a year ago – the Michigan Open Championship presented by DTE at The Orchards Golf Club.

  Kelpin, 23 and a Kalamazoo resident and mini-tour professional, tied the all-time scoring record of 23-under-par in winning the 2012 Michigan Open, and heads the field of 156 golfers for the 96th version of the state championship Monday through Thursday (June 10-13).

  “I was definitely hitting on all cylinders,” Kelpin said. “The hole looked pretty big, but I also played well tee-to-green. All around the game was great, and that doesn’t happen every week.”

  Kelpin, who in December won a Winter Series event on the NGA Tour at Disney World, has been playing recently on the eGolf Professional Tour and working the Monday qualifying rounds on the Tour.

  “It’s going pretty good out there,” he said of being home in Kalamazoo for a week and then traveling around the country for three-week stretches each month. “There are a lot of good players, and I’m getting a lot of great experience.”

  Kelpin, who continues to work on his game with PGA Master Professional Charley Vandenberg of Thousand Oaks Golf Academy in Grand Rapids, said the dominating win in last year’s Open was a remarkable coming together of work on his game, but more importantly it vaulted him into professional tour golf with great confidence.

  “I’ve grown a lot as a player in the last year, and I know that playing at home adds the level of expectations, but I can use all that as a learning experience, too,” he said. “I’m excited to play again in my home state, and I know to be successful at the Orchards, you have to putt the ball great.”

  His 23-under-par 72-hole tour of The Orchards last year tied the Open record set by legend Chick Harbert in 1948 at Tam O’Shanter.

  Jeff Cuzzort, a mini-tour player from Grosse Ile, finished second, eight shots behind on the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. -designed course that hosted the 2002 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship won by current PGA Tour standout Ryan Moore.

   Top players taking aim at Kelpin and the 2013 title include six-time Michigan Open champion Scott Hebert of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, who last summer also won his sixth Michigan PGA Championship.

   Other top contenders in the field include 2007 Michigan Open champion and mini-tour player Andrew Ruthkoski of Muskegon, 2011 Michigan Amateur champion Willie Mack III of Flint, who is now a professional, and top state PGA professionals Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, who was the 2012 Michigan PGA Player of the Year, and John Seltzer of The Polo Fields in Ann Arbor. Drew Preston of Grand Rapids, the 2012 Michigan Amateur champion, is in the field as a first-year mini-tour professional.

   Gallery is welcome at The Orchards through the week with play starting Monday at 8 a.m. Parking and admission are free on site at 62900 Campground Road.