Archives For Greg Johnson

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.

LaFontaine Cadillac Michigan Open Championship

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HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP – Jeff Bronkema of Wayland made five consecutive birdies on the back nine in a 6-under 66 at Prestwick Village Wednesday to take the lead heading into the final round of the 99th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Automotive Group.

“I scraped it around the front and couldn’t get anything going and then something clicked and I hit it to six-feet on 13, inside three feet on 14 and 15, made a 40-footer downhill for birdie on 16 and about a 20-footer for birdie on 17,” said the 27-year-old Plainwell native and mini-tour professional who finished second to Jeff Cuzzort in last year’s Michigan Open.

“I’m excited to get going tomorrow and finish one spot higher.”

LaFontaine Cadillac Michigan Open ChampionshipBronkema’s 66 gave him a 10-under 206 total with amateur and 2013 champion Tom Werkmeister of Grand Rapids two shots back at 208 and standing second after a 69.

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HIGHLAND – Jeff Cuzzort said adding the one-year lease on a Cadillac from LaFontaine Cadillac to winning the state championship was overwhelming.

“I can’t thank people enough,” he said.

Jeff Cuzzort Wins Michigan Open Championship

left to right: Robert Simmons, John Foglio, Jeff Cuzzort, Kelley LaFontaine, Bob Milner, Ryan LaFontaine

Cuzzort, a Grosse Ile resident, also said winning the 98th Michigan Open Championship means everything to him.

“Just everything, because I closed the deal,” he said after shooting a final-round 3-under 69 Thursday to hold off all challengers for the state championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village Golf Club.

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HIGHLAND – As day two of the golf action in the 98th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac came to a close Tuesday at Prestwick Village, the party was just getting started.

LaFontaine Cadillac hosted a reception for Prestwick members to celebrate their sponsorship of the storied championship, which is currently led by Jeff Cuzzort of Grosse Ile.

2015 Cadillac ATS at Prestwick Village Golf Club

Cuzzort is hoping to celebrate after two more days of competition, though he said he came to the tournament with no expectations.

“That no expectations thing is working pretty good right now,” he said. “I think I will stick with that.”

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HIGHLAND – Randy Hutchison of Traverse City could use a one-year lease on a 2015 Cadillac SRX as he travels around the country playing golf.

The traveling mini-pro who has worn out a few automobiles in recent years fired a 6-under 66 and leads four golfers by one shot through the first round of the 98th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village.

Randy Hutchison Michigan Open Championship

Traverse City’s Randy Hutchison hits a tee shot on hole No. 9 on Monday at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland. (Photo Record-Eagle.com)

Hutchison, 28 and the 2011 Michigan Open winner, has been home from the SwingThought.com Tour for a few weeks and said he was relaxed and ready to go Monday. His eyes are on the trophy for a second time, but also the SRX lease that LaFontaine Cadillac will present to the champion.

“I had a tough year last year with conditional status on the Web.com Tour, but this year has started better and I feel good,” he said. “I hit it close a few times and I made a few long ones for birdie coming in. Good start and a long way to go.”

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Ryan Brehm said he didn’t let himself think about the win, money or the lease on a new Cadillac until the tournament was over.

Then he couldn’t stop smiling.

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Ryan Brehm talks about winning the Michigan Open and a new Cadillac ATS.

“I don’t even know how to feel about winning a Cadillac,” he said. “I’m thinking it might be a little out of my league, but I’m really going to enjoy driving it.”

The 28-year-old PGA Tour Canada golfer won the 97th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village Golf Club Thursday. It was his third Open title.

The Mount Pleasant native, Grand Rapids resident and former Michigan State star shot a closing 1-over-par 73 and had to hold off a the charge of Petoskey’s Joey Garber, who shot 68 and after nine holes of play in the final round was within one shot.

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Ryan Brehm is running away at a record pace in the 97th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Golf Club.

And he loves the idea of winning a one-year lease on a new Cadillac from LaFontaine to go along with a first-place check today.

Michigan-Open-Championship-LaFontaine-Cadillac.ATS

“That would be wonderful,” said the PGA Tour Canada player who spends much of the year on the road going from tournament to tournament. “I could get used to driving one of those.”

The 28-year-old Mount Pleasant native, Grand Rapids resident shot a course-record 9-under-par 63 Wednesday to take a seven-shot lead into today’s final round of the $57,500 state championship.

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It’s a little damp this morning for the start of the third round of the Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village Golf Club.

But there’s a VIP hospitality tent with all the comforts of home covering invited guests of LaFontaine.

LaFontaine-Cadillac-VIP-Hospitality-Tent

Bob Anderson, Jeff Chapel and Luke Field enjoy the amenities inside the LaFontaine Cadillac VIP hospitality tent

Meanwhile, when the weather breaks great golf is at hand.

Ryan Brehm and Willie Mack III shared the lead at the halfway point of the four-round championship.

It was good news for Mack and Brehm, but maybe bad news for everybody else in the field.

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The field of 156 golfers playing in the Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac at Prestwick Village are car shopping as they play.

Cadillacs are parked in various places around the golf course for golfers and fans to peruse even during play. The 72-hole state championship continues through Thursday.

Willie-Mack-Michigan-Open-Championship

Willie Mack hitting a bunker shot on No. 18 during round 1 of the Michigan Open Championship

The three co-leaders after one round Monday all had interesting travel stories and could have used a new Cadillac.

Willie Mack III of Grand Blanc had to drive from Atlanta after winning a mini-tour event there Sunday night.

Joey Garber of Petoskey came to make his professional debut after a stellar college career at the University of Georgia and a much-needed week off in Chicago. He hasn’t made it home yet from college, and is driving the whole way.

And Mount Pleasant native and Grand Rapids resident Ryan Brehm flew the red-eye flight from Vancouver in Canada to Chicago with a connecting flight to Grand Rapids arriving at 9 a.m. Monday, and then hopped in a car to drive to Prestwick Village and play.

They shared the lead through the first round of the 97th Michigan Open with rounds of 7-under-par 65.

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The race to the lease of a new Cadillac ATS is on.

The 97th Michigan Open Championship presented by LaFontaine Cadillac has started and will continue through Thursday (June 9-12) at Prestwick Village Golf Club.

2014-Michigan-Open-PGA-LaFontaine-CadillacSponsoring LaFontaine Cadillac is one of 18 LaFontaine Automotive Group franchises in nine locations across southeast Michigan, and will present the 2014 champion with a one-year lease of a new 2014 Cadillac ATS.

“That’s nice, a trophy, a check and a new car to take it home in,” quipped Brian Cairns, last year’s Michigan PGA Player of the Year who teaches at the Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth.

Tom Werkmeister, 46, went in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Sunday, and today he starts defense of his title. He was the first amateur to win the championship in 38 years a year ago.

“To be part of a tournament with such a great history is still a big thrill,” Werkmeister said. “My father and his friends used to talk about the great players like Chuck Kocsis. Walter Hagen’s name is on the trophy.  I’ve played with Scott Hebert. It’s pretty amazing to be part of that.”
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