by Jeff Harrington
While not claiming it as the biggest achievement of his career, Ron English acknowledges that winning this year's Michigan Senior Open championship was personally significant for two reasons. The title punctuated the 50-year-old English's first year of eligibility for the senior event, and it came at Battle Creek's Bedford Valley, the scene of his runner-up finish in the 1977 Michigan Open, his best-ever showing in that event.
"It was a fun tournament for me, going back there and winning," English said of Bedford Valley, a course he characterized as a "true championship test" and his favorite among the five Gull Lake View layouts.
It was also nice, he suggested, to win as one of the rookies in this year's senior field, although English's Michigan PGA resume suggests him as anything but a rookie.
A 1971 MSU graduate, English was the long-time pro, course manager and men's and women's golf coach at Ferris State University's Katke Country Club in Big Rapids, earning Great Lakes Conference Coach of the Year honors eight times. He is a former winner of the Pro-Pro Championship (with Lynn Janson in 1981), Michigan Golf Classic (Gary Domagalski, '85), World Pro-Am Professional Title ('87) and the World Pro-Am Gross Team Title (1982-'87). Additionally, English has been honored as Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year, Northern Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, Northern Chapter Teacher of the Year, and a four-time winner of the Northern Chapter Horton Smith Award.
Currently, English is in his first full year as pro at Michaywe' Resort in Gaylord after having taught there occasionally over the years.
English opened the 36-hole tourney with a strong first round of 67 on Tuesday. He was tied for the lead going into the final hole after finding a water hazard and making a bogey-5 on No. 16.
English birdied No. 18 to close with an even-par 72, winning the $3,200 top prize and the title by two strokes over George Swistock of Livonia.
"I played very well and made a few big puts the first day," English recalled. "The second day, I didn't make as many putts, but, with the exception of that one water-ball, I kept the ball in play."
WHAT'S IN RON ENGLISH'S BAG:
Driver: Callaway Big Bertha Warbird
Three Wood: Titleist 3-plus
Irons: (2 to SW): Titleist DCI
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron
You can contact us at
Copyright© Great Lakes Sports Publications, Inc.