HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP – Jeff Bronkema, a 27-year-old mini-tour golfer, never gave up the lead in the final round and won the 99th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive Group at Prestwick Village Golf Club Thursday.
“It’s the biggest tournament I’ve ever won, the first four-day tournament I’ve ever won, and it’s one I’ve wanted to win for so long,” he said after a closing 2-under 70 put him at 12-under 276 for a three-shot win over 2007 champion Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon and fellow mini-tour pro Eric Lilleboe of Okemos.
“It’s great to win a tournament you’ve always wanted to win against really good players, and it solidifies your thinking that you can make it playing professional golf.”
Bronkema’s name will go on the James D. Standish trophy, he received the first-place check of $8,000 from the purse of $54,500 and sponsoring LaFontaine presented him with a lease on a new Cadillac.
“I controlled my golf ball all week, rarely put it in bad spots, kept it below the hole and for some reason I just play great on the back nine here,” he said.