Michigan Golf News |
June 30, 2006 Vol. 6, No. 26
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OTSEGO CLUB & RESORT-GAYLORD
SHANTY CREEK RESORT & CLUB
DESIGN YOUR OWN IRELAND GOLFING GETAWAY
Edited by Art McCafferty-Producer/Publisher, GLSP
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If the Michigan Open remains at Grand Traverse Resort, Scott Hebert may double Al Watrousıs record of six Open victories.
Hebert, recently named head professional of Grand Traverse, tied the late Oakland Hills Country Club professionalıs record Thursday and did it in high style on a Chamber of Commerce and Tourism blue sky, total sun day.
With the Navyıs Blue Angels roaring overhead, practicing for their weekend National Cherry Festival show, Hebert thundered around the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear in 68-70-67-70275, 12 under par, and won the $92,000 championship by four shots over Brian Stuard of Jackson, a 2005 graduate of Oakland University who turned professional last fall and currently is playing on the Hooters Tour.
Randy Hutchison, 19, a sophomore at Michigan State and Traverse City resident who is a bag boy at the resort, bogied the 17th hole and fell into a third place tie with first round leader Scott Hayes of Ypsilantiıs Miles of Golf.
Watrous, long known as ³Michiganıs Most Titled Golfer,² won his six Opens on five different courses over a spread of 23 years, from 1926 to 1949. All six of Hebertıs have come at Grand Traverse and theyıve come in a span of 10 years.
Hebert, a native of Escanaba, likes the north country. Formerly an assistant professional at Grand Traverse, he first played the Bear in 1995 and finished 11th, his poorest finish. Since then heıs been second twice, losing a playoff to Jeff Roth in 1998, third once and fourth the last two years while he was working at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Grand Rapids.
Hebert also has played various professional tours but now is settled Up North. ³My last day at Sunnybrook was one week ago so Iıve been on the job here one week,² Hebert said, smiling. ³Itıs sweet coming back. It hasnıt sunk in yet (six titles) but thatıs a pretty major feat and Iım proud of it. I guess Iım still young enough that I may win another one if it stays here itıd be pretty good for me.²
The 5-foot, 9-1/2-inch, 170-pound Hebert isnıt a particularly long hitter, unlike the many collegians who play in the Open, but heıs an accurate driver and a strong iron player, admirable qualities on any course but particularly on the Bear, once the most-feared course in Michigan golf and, back when the Open was first played on it 25 years ago, it was a nightmare for most. The ³worst ball,² the highest score on each hole, had nines of 81 and 80 in that first year when Randy Erskine won.
Hebert was tied with Erskine for most Open victories until this one and Erskine, 55, professional at Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester, said ³I wouldnıt be at all surprised to see him run past Watrous without any problem. ³I was trying to get six and got close at one point but I wouldnıt say I let any get away. The best news for Scott is, heıs a head pro now. I donıt see any stopping him. He may win double figures,² Erskine said.
While being head pro usually is a restriction on the proıs playing time, Grand Traverse wants Hebert to play and fly the resort flag. He still has a long way to match the Watrous overall record, though. Watrous won the Michigan PGA title nine times, first when he was 23 and last when he was 55. Hebert hasnıt won one. But then, it hasnıt been played on the Bear.
Hebert in the Open
1995 -- 11th, 294, +6 (Dave Smith champion).
Stats supplied by Kevin Hollifeld
Bellaire-Shanty Creek Resort
Gaylord-Threetops, Treetops, Otsego Club, The Natural
2006 ING PAR-3 SHOOTOUT PAYOUT
2006 ING PAR-3 SHOOTOUT Quotes
CHRIS DIMARCO I had a great time. I said it yesterday, everyoneıs thanking me for coming. I feel like I should be thanking them for me being here.
CRAIG STADLER . There really werenıt any tap-ins both days, which was kind of surprising. But the greens are hard to read. Theyıre really rolling good, good speed, but a lot of misreads out there. ANDY NORTH Itıs always good to come out and play in an event like this where you can have a little more fun and you can talk a little bit more and it shows the people at home a bit more of what weıre about rather than just grinding and grinding the way you see us on television most weeks.
RICK SMITH/MANAGING PARTNER TREETOPS RESORT (on how the ING Par-3 Shootout has grown) I got back from Augusta and watched everyone have so much fun on the Par-3 Course there. My good friend (Harry Melling) who started all this asked me ³What do we need to do to make this more interesting?² I said ³We should build a Par-3 course² He said ³Go do it.² It was really the first thing I ever did.
Grayling-Red Fox Run
The Boyne folks were omnipresent. Steve Kircher played in the medalist rounds of the tournament, missed the cut, but was a spectator each day. Julie Ard, Director of Communications was everywhere and was even showing off the event to a new marketing intern from Purdue. Vice President of Golf Operations, Bernie Friedrich, Director of Golf Mark Chumbler, Tournament Director, Steve McPhee and Golf Professional Josh Richter made sure that all details were taken care of and Superintendent Matt Novenske and his team had The Heather all dressed for her 40th anniversary.
Media on hand for the event included, Larry Adderley, Kelly Hill, Vartan Kupelian, Jack Berry, Kevin Frisch, Terry Moore, Jennie McCafferty, Tom Lang and Bill Hobson.
Harbor Point Golf Club
True North GC- True North is tightening up their non member play, says Dave Mocini, Director of Golf. "We are allowing one round of play for a non member, and then that person can only play with a member after that or hopefully become one", Mocini said. "We had a couple of guys jet in from Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago and the comment from one of them, was that he thought 'True North was the best course on the planet, and I have played courses all over the world.'" We will allow Dave to utilize some hyperbole here, as True North is indeed a spectacular design from the mind of Jim Engh. We visited one of Engh's courses in Colorado and found some more of his magic in the ground. Dave indicated that the final clubhouse work will be completed by the end of the golf year.
Chuck Kocsis-The Best There Ever Was
In March of 2003, our Michigan Golfer Television host, Bill Shelton and reporter Jack Berry sat down with Chuck Kocsis to discuss some of his golfing memories. In iight of the passing of Mr. Kocsis, argueably one of the greatest amateur players of all time, we bring this interview to you. Mr. Kocsis talks about his early career, the types of clubs he used, modern age golf and his thoughts about Sarazen, Shead, Nelson, Palmer, Hagen and Tiger. We open the interview with Jack Berry on the 17th tee of The Monument Golf Course at Boyne Mountain. The 17th was chosen by Chuck Kocsis as his favorite hole on The Monument and has a plaque there describing his achievements.
Is there a more refreshing tonic than watching the action at the Michigan Amateur? Thereıs just something extra special and pristine about our stateıs top and most storied amateur competitionespecially when itıs played at The Heather at Boyne Highlands at the start of summer. Along with the immense efforts of Boyneıs staff and volunteers, the GAM conducted a first-class event with many notable highlights.
Topping the list were 250 volunteersdressed in bright and unmistakable orange shirts who ably and enthusiastically served as marshals, spotters and overall helpers. They were recruited from the member ranks of the CC of Boyne as well as other local courses and clubs and they made a positive difference for the tournament. In any organization or enterprise, success all starts with people and once again this was demonstrated at Boyne.
As one of the most popular player courses in all of Michigan, The Heather not surprisingly proved its mettle as a championship venue. Especially eye-catching and appealing was the new sand placed in all of the bunkers only a month or so before the event. As one GAM official noted, the sparkling new sand lent the visual effect of ³doubling² the size of the bunkers. Also, Boyne also smartly added a pad beneath all of the new sand so as to virtually eliminate pesky stonesa common feature of northern Michigan bunkerspoking up and spoiling a shot. Although the sandparticularly in the facesneeds to settle and to compact moreit was still a very good addition for the course and the event. The rest of the course was in fine condition and one widely applauded by players and officials alike.
Of course, watching new and familiar names among the stateıs best amateurs was the real treat of this 95th edition of the Michigan Amateur. For me, I was able to follow several matches of my old junior golf buddy Billy Zylstra of Westland. Billy and I grew up at Green Ridge CC in Grand Rapids and we spent many idyllic summers just playing golf. (Hey, our parents wanted us out of the house!) Anyway, Billy is still an exceptional player, winning several local Publinx trophies and qualifying for a number of USGA national events. In fact, Billy earned some national TV time when he nearly made the cut at the 2002 U.S. Senior Open at Caves Valley. In spite of some excellent ball-striking, Billy fell for the second consecutive year in match play to Caledoniaıs Eric Atsma, the reigning Grand Rapids City Champion. Billyıs touch with his long putter (³Hey, Terry, thereıs a reason Iım using this thing!² he cracked) deserted him down the stretch against the talented collegian from the Un iversity of Findlay. But it was fun catching up with Billy, seeing his strong game, sharing a few laughs, rusty stories and relishing the bonds of the game.
I also enjoyed watching Ryan Brehm, the M.S.U golfer and the eventual runner-up, whoıs arguably the stateıs most promising and talented amateur player. Although he struggled with a shaky driver, Brehm possesses Tour-level ³effortless power² and skills. I also watched medalist Korey Mahoney and defending champion Christian Vozza, both of whom turned pro after the event and have serious games.
And one of the best stories was 15-year-old Tyler Downing, Sturgis, who was the youngest player ever to make the Sweet Sixteen. The young man, a 4.0 honors student, has a rock-solid swing and air-tight putting stroke (with the nerves of a 13-year-old!) and is no fluke. Heıll be a force for years to come.
And I was fortunate to catch eventual champion Greg Daviesı (the 57th seed!) comeback win against Atsma where he was one down on the 18th hole and facing a long second shot from the rough to the Heatherıs famous pond-fronted green. A deliberate player, Davies wisely wedged out left and short of the green never risking going for the pin. When Atsmaıs second shot flew the green and into the back bunker and finally ending up with a bogey, Davies got up and down for a terrific par to take the match to extra holes where he won on the second hole. As Bobby Jones opined, make lots of pars in match play and youıll usually do just fine.
And finally, hats off to the GAM and the USGA for adopting a new ³tough love² rule for pace of play. As in the case at certain USGA qualifying events this season, the GAM assessed a one-stroke penalty (per nine) for players that didnıt keep pace and were more than 15 minutes behind the group ahead. An appeals process was also part of the rule. Six players were given penalty strokes after Tuesdayıs first round of qualifying. In golfıs continuing match between the tortoise and the hare, letıs make this one-up for the hare.
Chuck Kocsis-The Best There Ever Was-by Jack Berry
The 95th Michigan Amateur-by Jack Berry
Michigan Golfer Internet Television: The First Five Years and 250
Courses-by Art McCafferty
Beeches Golf Club-by Kelly Hill The latest from W.Bruce Matthews III and his Matthews Golf Design firm.
W. Bruce Mathews III: Small Budgets, Big Courses-by Bernice Phillips Matthews Golf Design still has work. Although the golf building boom has gone bust, the Matthews Golf Design keeps pumping out courses. The Beeches, puts Matthews over 40 new course designs.
Michigan Golf Hall of Fame: Class of 2005-by Jack Berry Jack Berry, a Hall of Fame member himself, chronicles this classy class.
Slice of Life-The DeVicenzo Code, The Movie - by Terry Moore Terry Moore revisits the mystery of the DeVicenzo and Goalby Masters
Readership of the Michigan Golfer Ezine averaged 9,789 per issue in 2005.
"It will be great to have Mike Weir in Grand Blanc this year," said Larry Peck, Buick Golf Marketing Manager. "He is a tremendous player and Buick Open fans will really enjoy watching him play."
Stephen Ames also announced that he will play in the 2006 Buick Open.
Previous 2006 Buick Open commitments include Jim Furyk, John Daly, Chris DiMarco, Woody Austin and Scott Verplank.
The 2006 Buick Open field will compete for a record $4.8 million purse, including the $864,000 first prize and the keys to a 2007 Buick Lucerne.
Former Buick Open Champion Tiger Woods ((2002) announced on June 5 that he is scheduled to play in the 2006 Buick Open. Vijay Singh has verbally committed to going for a record third consecutive Buick Open title.
For Buick Open tickets and information, call 1 (800) 878-OPEN or go to http://www.buickopen.pgatour.com
Taken and edited from a release from Al Abrams Buick Open Media Director
Taken and edited from a Gaylord Sports Management press release.
³A morning radio show can be an important, intimate enhancement to peopleıs lives a constant friend to share ideas with and be accompanied by. I saw the positive influence J.P. McCarthy had on people in Michigan and how very well-liked he was. He was respected because he was respectful; he was curious without being off-putting. I plan to borrow every page I can from the playbook J.P. taught me,² said Shiels. ³Of course, a sense of humor is valuable, too. Michigan is full of lively and genuinely interesting personalities people who make a difference every day. Iıd like for our listeners to ride along with those people in their cars whether theyıre listening in Lansing or anywhere else in Michigan.²
³A big part of Michael Patrickıs value is that his experience and media involvement extends beyond radio. Heıs a bestselling author and print journalist and has worked in television,² said Michigan Talk Network General Manager, Tim Hygh. ³Michael has traveled extensively and brings a fresh yet seasoned world view to us. Heıs a wonderful combination of a host who has lived his entire life in Michigan with incredible world wide experiences from which our listeners will greatly benefit.²
Shiels has authored six books, collaborating with the likes of Donald Trump, Larry King, CBS sportscaster Ben Wright and acclaimed golf architect Arthur Hills and writing a ³For Dummies² title. His first book, in 1998, was a biography of McCarthy, who passed away in 1995.
"I still have my own heroes," said Whitworth. "Harvey Penick and Hardy Loudermilk were heroes to me. They gave me so much, and I really was blessed to have had their guidance. You know that nobody successful ever does it by themselves."
Whitworth turned professional in 1958, and joined the LPGA Tour a year later. Discouraged at the start, she had contemplated quitting. But, she cleared a crisis in self-confidence when she earned her first paycheck of $33 for finishing tied for 16th in the 1959 Land Sky Open at Asheville, N.C. She called home to let her parents know that she would continue to play the tour. Whitworth went on to win a record 88 LPGA events, passing in 1982 Mickey Wright's 82 victories and in 1984 surpassed Sam Snead's PGA Tour record 84 triumphs.
PGA First Lady of Golf Recipients
Taken and edited from a PGA release
CHAMPIONS OF THE PAST DECADE:
TELEVISION COVERAGE All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
Participating courses can be found at http://www.playgolfamerica.com.
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