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2009 News Archive

Season Recap

Eric Wohlfield Leads 2009 Order of Merit

October 13, 2009

Eric Wohlfield
The Michigan Player’s Tour would like to extend its appreciation to all of the players who participated in Tour events in 2009.

Eric Wohlfield of Brighton led the 2009 Michigan Player’s Tour Order of Merit, collecting 5 victories and winning $3,125.00 in 11 events. This was the first season Wohlfield participated on the Tour. He had a solid collegiate career at Hope College, receiving Division III All-American honors twice in his four years at the school. Wohlfield's scoring average for the season was 74.18 (11 rounds).

During the 2009 season, the Tour conducted a total of 16 events, and paid out $14,730.00 in prize money. Overall, 43 different players participated during 2009. In the four seasons the Tour has been in operation, 42 events have been conducted, with 106 different players participating. Total prize money paid out during the four seasons was $39,895.00.

The complete list of money winners in 2009 is shown below.

The Michigan Player's Tour

2009 Order of Merit

Final Standings

Eric Wohlfield Brighton, MI
Matt Zavadil Rochester Hills, MI
Paul Wilson Grayling, MI
Greg Stefan Farmington Hills, MI
Brian Cairns Waterford, MI
Jack Garswood Adrian, MI
Bret Hartman Royal Oak, MI
Ken Carter Traverse City, MI
Jon Micoff Indian River, MI
Jay Jurecic Caspian, MI
Joseph Kiss East Leroy, MI
Robert Shaw Manchester, MI
David Mickle Concord, MI
Ben Boerma Cadillac, MI
Jeff Rachar Highland, MI
Austin Peters Reinbeck, IA
Justin Hull Birmingham, MI
Ryan Lenahan Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
Phil Himes Cadillac, MI
Total Prize Money Paid

Carter Wins Tour Championship

Defeats Robert Shaw on first playoff hole

October 5, 2009

Ken Carter
Bath, Michigan – It was the penultimate event of the year, played on one of the most difficult courses in Michigan.

And with a fortunate break in the cool and wet weather that has settled into Michigan this fall, it was Tour Director Ken Carter who defeated Robert Shaw of Manchester on the first playoff hole to win the Michigan Player's Tour Championship October 5th at Hawk Hollow Resort (Eagle Eye G.C.) in Bath. Both players posted 3 over par 75s to force the playoff.

The playoff began on the 403 yard 10th hole, with both players hitting solid drives up the middle. Playing first into the green, Carter reached in regulation, but Shaw splashed his approach into a greenside pond. Although Carter three putted for bogey, Shaw was unable to get up and down after taking a drop, handing Carter the title.

The event was played under mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 50s, but the course played extremely long due to several days of rain leading up to the event. Despite the conditions, the course was in excellent shape, with the greens running at about 10 on the Stimpmeter. All but one of the holes were played at their maximum length.

Only one event remains on the 2009 schedule – The MPT Extreme Series Championship, to be played October 12th at Arcadia Bluffs G.C. in Arcadia.

For complete scores, please go to the Results page.

Images From Eagle Eye G.C.
5th Hole, 210 yards, par 3
13th hole, 487 yards, par 4
17th hole, 146 yards, par 3

Wohlfield Dominates At Northville Hills

Posts a two under par 70 in extremely tough conditions

September 28, 2009

Northville, Michigan – There’s one thing about living in Michigan – when summer ends and the calendar says it’s fall, the weather does not waste time proving it.

Eric Wohlfield
In the toughest conditions of any Tour event this season – temperatures in the low 50s with rain and heavy winds – Eric Wohlfield of Brighton outclassed the field with a two under par 70 to win the Northville Hills Open by 8 shots.

Former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Greg Stefan (now a scout for the Carolina Hurricanes) and Ryan Lenahan of Grosse Pointe Shores finished in a tie for second with six over 78s.

As with the rest of the players, Wohlfield had difficulty with the on and off rain showers and winds which frequently gusted to 30 mph, missing three putts of 5 feet or less – which would have made his score even more exceptional. The entire state was under a high wind advisory the day of the event.

Northville Hills G.C. is a challenging Arnold Palmer signature course measuring 7003 yards at a par of 72, and is the centerpiece of an upscale housing development in Northville. It is a well-bunkered design that traverses numerous ponds and wetlands, and has several forced carries into the greens. Each nine has an excellent finish, requiring accurate approaches.

Images From Northville Hills
9th Hole, 425 yards, par 4
17th hole, 186 yards, par 3
Bhanu Vallabhaneni on No. 11

Treetops Fall Classic Cancelled Due To Heavy Rain

September 21, 2009

Gaylord -- The Treetops Fall Classic at the Treetops Resort (RTJ Masterpiece) was cancelled Monday due to heavy overnight rains. The rain made the greens unplayable.

"We waited around a couple of hours for the rain to let up, but many of the greens still had casual water on them well into the afternoon," said Ken Carter, Director of the Tour. "This was the first event cancelled due to weather since the Tour began in 2006."

The next event is the Northville Hills Open in Northville on September 28th.

Tour Adjusts Fall Schedule

Treetops Fall Classic added, Northville Hills and Extreme Series Championship moved

September 7, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour has made several alterations to the remaining Tour schedule. These changes are as follows:

6th Hole, Treetops Resort (RTJ Masterpiece)

1. The Tour has added The Treetops Fall Classic to the schedule, to be played Monday, September 21st at the spectacular Treetops Resort (Robert Trent Jones Masterpiece) near Gaylord. Tee times will begin at 9 am.

2. The Tour has moved The Northville Hills Open from Monday, September 21st to Monday, September 28th. The event will be played at Northville Hills G.C., a classic Arnold Palmer design in Northville. Tee times will begin at 10 am.

3. The MPT Extreme Series Championship has been moved from Sunday, September 29th to Monday, October 12th. The Extreme Series Championship will be played at nationally acclaimed Arcadia Bluffs G.C. in Arcadia. Tee times will begin at 10:30 am.

The reason for these changes were to fill an open date on the Tour schedule (September 28th), and to make it possible for players to compete on the Robert Trent Jones Masterpiece and at Arcadia Bluffs, two of the most spectacular and challenging courses in the United States.

Zavadil Wins Shepherd’s Hollow Open

Overcomes six shot deficit on final nine

September 8, 2009

Matt Zavadil
Clarkston, Michigan – On an overcast, showery day in the northern suburbs, Matt Zavadil of Rochester Hills shot a two under par 34 on the final nine at Shepherd’s Hollow G.C. in Clarkston to erase a six shot deficit and overtake Brian Cairns of Waterford to win the Shepherd’s Hollow Open September 8th. Zavadil’s winning score was a two over par 74.

Standing on the 19th tee, Cairns held a five shot lead over Billy Crosno of Farmington Hills and Tour Director Ken Carter, and six shots over Zavadil. But a with a string of bogeys, leading to a five over par 41 on the back nine, Cairns’ lead slowly evaporated, and finally disappeared as Zavadil posted his 34.

Playing conditions were a little soggy, as the course received a steady rain the previous day and overnight. Nothing more than a drizzle fell during play, however.

Shepherd’s Hollow G.C. is a magnificent, 27 hole Arthur Hills facility that features relatively generous fairways, and is set in a mature forest. All of the nines are difficult when played from the back tees. The greens are large and well bunkered, and have significant undulations allowing for some extremely difficult pin positions. The Shepherd’s Hollow Open was played on holes 10 through 27.

For scores, please go to the Results page.

Images From Shepherd's Hollow
27th Hole, 461 yards, par 4
20th hole, 599 yards, par 5
16th hole, 449 yards, par 4

Wohlfield Defeats Cairns In Playoff

Five extra holes required at Western Michigan Open

August 31, 2009

Eric Wohlfield
Saugatuck, Michigan – On perhaps the nicest day ever for golf, Eric Wohlfield of Brighton defeated Brian Cairns of Waterford on the fifth playoff hole to win the Western Michigan Open at The Ravines G.C. in Saugatuck on August 31. Both players posted two over 74s.

The win was the fourth for Wohlfield on Tour this year. Two weeks ago, Wohlfield lost to Cairns by one stroke at the St. Ives Resort (Tullymore G.C.) when Cairns birdied the final three holes. Cairns is a two time winner of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship, and was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2000.

The playoff began on the 10th hole, and both players managed routine pars through the 13th hole. On the 623 yard par five 14th, Cairns caught the edge of a bunker on his approach, and failed to get up and down, allowing Wohlfield two putts from 6 feet for the win.

Playing conditions were perfect, sunny and 68 degrees with light winds. It was unusually cool in the morning, however, as temperatures dipped into the low 40's overnight. With some of the maple trees in Michigan now beginning change over, a touch of fall is definitely in the air.

The Ravines G.C. is a classic Arnold Palmer design that stretches out to 7,132 yards with a par of 72. The course features relatively generous fairways, but lurking just a few yards away on either side are areas of deep fescue, marshes, water hazards, and forests. The greens are well bunkered, and feature plateaus that can make for some unbelievable pin positions.

Images From The Ravines
9th Hole, 529 yards, par 5
8th hole, 191 yards, par 3
Wohlfield and Cairns in playoff

Zavadil Qualifies For 2010 PGA Professional National Championship

Finishes T9 in Michigan PGA Professional Championship

August 27, 2009

Matt Zavadil, Assistant PGA professional at Metamora Golf and Country Club in Metamora and a regular competitor on the Michigan Player's Tour, finished in a tie for 9th place in the 2009 Michigan PGA Professional Championship August 26th. He shot rounds of 70 - 74 - 73 = 217 at the event, which was conducted at The Hawk Hollow Resort in Bath. The top 20 finishers automatically qualify for the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship, to be conducted at The French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana.

Zavadil's most recent finish on the Michigan Player's Tour was a tie for 2nd in The Jackson Open, where he lost in a playoff to Eric Wohlfield of Brighton.

The Michigan PGA Professional Championship was won by Scott Hebert, head professional at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme. It was Hebert's 4th consecutive win in the event. Hebert was also the winner of the 2008 PGA Professional National Championship ,which was contested at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia in June 2008.

Kiss Prevails At Grand Rapids Open

Wohlfield finishes 1 stroke back

August 24, 2009

Joe Kiss
Grand Rapids, Michigan – On an ideal day for scoring, Joseph Kiss of East Leroy put together a string of 3 birdies in a row at the turn to overtake Eric Wohlfield of Brighton and win the Grand Rapids Open August 24 at The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe. His score of one under par 71 bettered Wohlfield by one shot.

The back nine provided plenty of drama as Kiss and Tour Director Ken Carter were one shot back of Wohlfield standing on the 10th tee. Birdies by Kiss on both 10 and 12 and a bogey by Wohlfield on the 11th gave Kiss a two shot lead, while Cater bogeyed both 10 and 11 to fall out of contention. A birdie by Wohlfield on 14 and a bogey by Kiss on 15 squared the match, but Wohlfield’s bogey on the par five 16th gave Kiss the lead once again.

Both Kiss and Wohlfield drove into a fairway bunker on 18, approximately 60 yards from the pin. Wohlfield blasted out to 25 feet and two putted, but Kiss came up well short, about 60 feet away. Kiss ran his first putt 8 feet past, but confidently holed the comebacker to preserve the win.

The Golf Club At Thornapple Pointe is a well conditioned and challenging course designed by William Newcomb, with several holes playing adjacent to the Thornapple River southeast of downtown Grand Rapids. The course requires accurate driving, as water, forests, or fescue are in play off the tee on nearly every hole.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Thornapple Pointe
7th Hole, 491 yards, par 5
13th hole, 551 yards, par 5
16th Hole, 531 yards, par 5

Cairns Birdies Final Three Holes For Win

Wohlfield finishes one shot back in Big Rapids Open

August 17, 2009

Brian Cairns
Stanwood, Michigan – Trailing by two shots on the 16th tee, former Michigan PGA Player of The Year Brian Cairns of Waterford birdied the final three holes at the difficult, 7,250 yard Tullymore G.C. in Stanwood to win the Big Rapids Open on the Michigan Player’s Tour by one shot over Eric Wohlfield of Brighton. Cairns final score was an even par 72. Amateur player Steve Fedewa finished third with a five over par 77.

Despite threatening skies, the rain predicted to arrive at Tullymore around noon never materialized, allowing play to continue without delay. Winds were generally light, and with recent rains the course played soft and was yielding birdies.

Tullymore G.C. is one of two elegant courses at the St. Ives Resort, which is located just a few miles southeast of Big Rapids in west central lower Michigan. It is a challenging Jim Engh design that traverses numerous lakes and wetlands, and features unique bunkering which frames the small but extremely undulating greens. The area is a year-round resort paradise, with spectacular golf courses, snowmobile and ATV trails, and numerous lakes and streams comprising the Canadian Lakes chain nearby.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Tullymore Golf Club
6th Hole, 378 yards, par 4
10th hole, 458 yards, par 4
18 th Hole, 535 yards, par 5

Wohlfield Wins Jackson Open In Playoff

Defeats Carter, Zavadil on second playoff hole

August 10, 2009

Eric Wohlfield
Jackson, Michigan – Continuing his solid play this season, Eric Wohlfield of Brighton posted a 1 under par 35 on the back nine of The Grande Golf Club in Jackson, including a birdie on the 439 yard, par four 18th hole, to fall into a tie with Tour Director Ken Carter and Matt Zavadil of Rochester Hills, who had posted rounds of 74. In the playoff, Wohlfield managed a couple of pars to defeat Carter on the second playoff hole. It was Wohlfield’s third win of the season on the Michigan Player’s Tour.

Carter began solidly, shooting an outward nine of 2 under par 34, but could not match his early play on the back nine, coming home in 40. Zavadil was two shots back at the turn, but was not able to mount a charge on the back nine and came home in 38. Carter was one under on the 16th tee, but a bogey, double bogey stretch at 16 and 17 ruined his chance for an outright win.

The Grande G.C. was in immaculate condition for the event, despite receiving heavy rain over the prior weekend. It is a fabulous Raymond Hearn design with a very unique style of bunkering and large greens with dramatic undulations and slopes. It is moderately long at 7,181 yards, and has holes set among forests and wetlands throughout.

Heavy thunderstorms pummeled central and southern Michigan in the pre-dawn hours, forcing the event to be played under lift, clean, and place conditions. Winds were initially light and variable, but they increased to 10 - 15 mph as the round progressed.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From The Grande Golf Club
16th Hole, 480 yards, par 4
17th hole, 214 yards, par 3
18 th Hole, 439 yards, par 4

Tour Continues To Seek Players For Women's Division

Four tournaments left on 2009 schedule

August 6, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour continues to maintain its 2009 Women's Division schedule, and continues to reach out to players to sign up and compete.

"There have been numerous inquiries and several entries into previous events, but we have yet to have enough players enter an event to justify conducting it," Tour Director Ken Carter says.

"Of course, we have been hindered by the economy, making it practically impossible to obtain sponsorship, and that has restricted our marketing efforts. But as we have seen with the Men's Division, the courses are still there, the weather is still nice, and it is still a lot of fun to play tournament golf competitively."

Carter attended the Michigan PGA Women's Open at Crystal Mountain Resort the past couple of days (see below), and handed out flyers to the players hoping to drum up support. "A lot of the players were interested, and that is encouraging," Carter said. "I hope their interest translates into contacting the Tour and entering events. There are some awesome courses left on the schedule."

"If we could get even one of the remaining events to draw a decent field, it would help tremendously in our efforts this fall and winter in attracting sponsorship," Carter adds. "With both Men's and Women's Divisions, the Michigan Player's Tour would be unique among all pro tours, and would present a sponsor with a highly visible entity to be associated with, which is what they want."

If you are interested in playing in one or more of the remaining events on the Women's Division schedule, please contact Ken at 888-678-8878. You can also email him at ken@michiganplayerstour.com. The schedule of remaining events can be found by clicking the button below.

LPGA Player Allison Fouch Wins Michigan PGA Women's Open

Birdie on final hole edges Michigan State senior Laura Kueny by one shot

August 5, 2009

Thompsonville, Michigan -- Michigan State alumni and LPGA player Allison Fouch birdied the final hole in regulation at the Crystal Mountain Resort's Mountain Ridge course to edge MSU senior Laura Kueny and win the 2009 Michigan PGA Women's Open.

Allison Fouch
Kueny, who led the tournament after both the first and second rounds, held a two shot lead with four holes to play, but bogeyed the par five 15th hole to Fouch's birdie to fall into a tie. After both players parred the 16th and 17th holes, Kueny missed a 12 foot birdie putt on the final hole while Fouch chipped to two feet and made her birdie putt for the win.

Fouch is currently in 80th place on the 2009 LPGA Tour money list with $79,856.00 in earnings. Her best finish was a tie for 12th place at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Toledo on July 5th.

For scores, please log on to the Golfstat web site.

Wohlfield Overtakes Wilson On Final Hole

One under 71 prevails at Shanty Creek Open

August 3, 2009

Eric Wohlfield
Bellaire, Michigan – Trailing by 4 shots at the turn, Eric Wohlfield of Brighton charged in with a 4 under par 32 on the back nine at Cedar River Golf Club to overtake Paul Wilson of Grayling and win The Shanty Creek Open on August 3rd. It was Wohlfield’s second win of the season on the Michigan Player’s Tour.

Wilson held a one shot lead on the 18th tee, but pulled his drive into deep fescue to the left of the fairway, ultimately leading to bogey. Meanwhile, Wohlfield birdied the 604 yard par 5, a two shot swing which proved to be the difference.

Cedar River Golf Club is one of four beautiful courses located at the Shanty Creek Resort near Bellaire. It is a spectacular Tom Weiskopf design set in rolling hills, forests and wetlands. Although not overly long at 6,989 yards, the course has tree lined fairways, and moderately sized greens with numerous undulations. The course is well bunkered, and water comes into play on several holes.

Heavy thunderstorms rolled over Northern Michigan in the pre-dawn hours, saturating the course and forcing the event to be played under lift, clean, and place conditions. Winds were initially light and variable, but they increased to 15 - 20 mph as the round progressed.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Cedar River Golf Club
12th Hole, 465 yards, par 4
Bob Shaw on the 18th hole
1st Hole, 458 yards, par 4

Tour Schedule Revised

Shepherd's Hollow Open, Ladies Tour Championship moved to September 8th

July 30, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour has moved both the Shepherd's Hollow Open and the MPT Ladies Tour Championship at Shepherd's Hollow G.C. in Clarkston from August 31st to September 8th, the day after Labor Day. The Western Michigan Open at The Ravines G.C. in Saugatuck has been moved to August 31st.

The reason for the move was to make it possible for more PGA Section professionals and assistants to participate at Shepherd's Hollow, as August 31 was the date of the Callaway Golf State Assistants Championship, and September 8th is an open date on the Section tournament schedule.

Tour Players Racking Up Cash In The Dakotas

Jason Swihart wins Groton Pro Am on Dakotas Tour July 23rd

July 29, 2009

Three current and former Michigan Player's Tour players who are competing on the Dakotas Tour this summer are doing well and consistently finishing in the money.

Jason Swihart, a three time winner on the MPT, recently won the Groton Pro Am in Groton, SD, an 18 hole event played July 23rd. In 7 events on the Dakotas Tour, Swihart has three other top ten finishes, including a tie for second, and was fifth on the Dakotas Tour money list.

Two time MPT winner Jay Jurecic is also doing well, finishing in the money three times, with his best finish a T2, losing in a playoff at The Camp Foster Pro-Am July 14th. He is 15th on the money list.

Two time Tour winner David Shearer has cashed two checks in the Dakotas, and is 67th on the money list.

Former Michigan State Players Qualify For Buick Open

Former MPT player Jeff Cuzzort just misses in playoff

July 28, 2009

Two former Michigan State players, Andrew Ruthkowski of Muskegon and Randy Hutchison of Traverse City, qualified for the Buick Open Monday at Fieldstone G.C. of Auburn Hills. PGA Tour veteran Tom Byrum won the qualifier with a 5 under par 67.

Former Michigan Player's Tour player Jeff Cuzzort of Grosse Ile was one of six players to make the playoff for the final two spots, but failed to advance.

Other players missing out included Michigan Player's Tour winners Brian Cairns, Craig Hicks and John Parke III, as well as current players Eric Wohlfield, Ryan Lenahan and Don Leafstrand,.

Garswood Adds Second Tour Win

One under par 71 just enough at Fieldstone Open

July 20, 2009

Jack Garswood
Auburn Hills, Michigan – Continuing his good play from winning the Northern Michigan Open on July 6th, Jack Garswood of Adrian strung together three birdies and an eagle on the front nine of the 7,002 yard par 72 Fieldstone G.C. of Auburn Hills to post a one under par 71 and win the 2009 Fieldstone Open on July 20th. Bret Hartman of Royal Oak, winner of the Moose Ridge Open in June, finished one shot back with a 72.

The event had some drama on the back nine in the final group. Hartman, who shot 34 on the front nine and was only one shot back, tied Garswood with a birdie on the par three 12th. Both players struggled on the next three holes, each losing three shots to par. Garswood then birdied the short par four 16th, and that proved to be the difference.

The day began sunny and pleasant, with temperatures rising into the low 70's. But as the round progressed, afternoon thunderstorms began to develop, creating a strong easterly breeze and threatening to disrupt play. Fortunately, the storms did not move over the course and all of the players finished without seeing a single drop of rain.

The event was played at the site of pre-qualifying for the PGA Tour’s Buick Open, which was scheduled for Thursday the same week. Fieldstone is an excellent Arthur Hills design that is owned and operated by the City of Auburn Hills.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Fieldstone G.C.
3rd Hole, 333 yards, Par 4
10th Hole, 564 yards, Par 5
14th Hole, 563 yards, Par 5

Tour Establishes Affiliation With Golfers Unite

Affiliation dedicated to growth of the game in Michigan and the Great Lakes region

July 16, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour is pleased to announce an affiliation with Golfers Unite, a web site dedicated to providing golfers in Michigan and the Great Lakes region a public meeting place which includes an events calendar, discussion forums, member profiles, photo gallery, file storage and more. Golfers Unite was formed by Jeff Stanislow and his company Motor City Interactive, and combines the most useful features of traditional websites, blogs, collaboration software and social networks.

The purpose of the affiliation is to aid the growth of the game in Michigan and the Great Lakes region, which is blessed with an abundance of spectacular courses, long summer days, and pleasant weather. The affiliation is particularly useful to the Tour, as it will greatly facilitate the marketing efforts of the Tour and the publicity surrounding its events.

Micoff Subdues The Bear In TC Open

Three under 33 on front nine provides winning margin

July 13, 2009

Jon Micoff
Acme, Michigan -- On perhaps the nicest day in Northern Michigan all summer, Jon Micoff of Indian River posted a superb two-under par 70 on the difficult, Jack Nicklaus designed Bear course at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa to win the 2009 Traverse City Open on July 13th. Eric Wohlfield of Brighton shot 74 to finish second.

The Bear is one of Michigan’s toughest courses, having served as the site of the Michigan Open Championship from 1981 through 2008, and also as the site of the Ameritech Senior Open on the Champions Tour in 1990 (won by Chi Chi Rodriguez). The Bear has a course rating of 76.3 and a slope of 148, ranking it No. 1 on Michigan Golf Magazine’s list of “Michigan’s Monsters.”

The day began on a cool note, with several towns in Northern Michigan reporting temperatures in the 30's overnight. Most of the round was played in light winds, but around 1 pm a westerly lake breeze kicked in, reaching speeds of 25 mph at times in gusts.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From The Bear
5th Hole, 413 yards, Par 4
4th Hole, 194 yards, Par 3
Jon Micoff on 13th Hole

Garswood Rips Back Nine At Windy Tribute

Three under par back nine secures 3 shot win

July 6, 2009

Jack Garswood
Gaylord, Michigan – Despite blustery winds which occasionally gusted to 30 mph, Jack Garswood of Adrian put together a blistering 3 under par 33 on the back nine of the 7,347 yard par 72 Tribute course to post a two over 74 and win the 2009 Northern Michigan Open at the Otsego Club in Gaylord. Paul Wilson of Grayling and former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Greg Stefan each shot 77's to tie for second.

The day began sunny and pleasant, with temperatures rising into the low 70's. But as the round progressed, a cold front passed through the region, bringing a stiff wind from the northwest and falling temperatures. The winds made club selection difficult as the course is situated in very hilly terrain with mature forests framing many of the holes.

The Tribute is a beautiful Gary Koch / Rick Robbins design that is the centerpiece of the Otsego Club, an all-seasons resort on the eastern border of Gaylord. The resort also operates a ski hill in the winter, with a terrain park and half pipe for snowboarders, and has several miles of cross-country ski trails.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Images From The Tribute
5th Hole, 478 yards, Par 4
14th Hole, 407 yards, Par 4
Jacob Leyrer on 3rd Hole

Wilson Returns To Winning Ways

One over par 73 good enough at soggy Treetops

June 29, 2009

Paul Wilson
Treetops Village, Michigan – With a string of pars, including 9 in a row on the back nine, Paul Wilson of Grayling scrambled his way to a one over par 73 on the Fazio Premier course to win the Treetops Resort Open on June 29. Phil Himes of Luther and Jon Micoff of Indian River tied for second with 74s.

The event began in heavy rain, forcing a brief suspension of play as the greens became unplayable. Once play resumed, showers continued off and on throughout the round, causing the course to play long.

The Fazio Premier was the second of four 18 hole courses to be constructed at the Treetops Resort in Gaylord. Always in perfect condition, the Fazio winds through thick forests and has serious changes in elevation. Although not very long at 6,832 yards, it has several holes that require pinpoint driving and very undulating greens. The Treetops Resort is the home of the nationally acclaimed Rick Smith Golf Academy and is owned and managed by a group headed by Smith.

Wilson’s win marked his sixth title on the Tour since 2006, and he led the Order of Merit in 2007.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Pictures From Treetops
9th Hole, 406 yards, Par 4
Kyle Ryder on 7th Tee
1st Hole, 431 yards, Par 4

Wohlfield Mows Down Field In Shootout

Bogey free 65 wins by 5 at The Fortress

June 23, 2009

Eric Wohlfield
Frankenmuth, Michigan – It was perfect summer day, with temperatures in the 80's and just a touch of humidity. But with nearly calm winds, The Fortress in Frankenmuth was ripe for low scores, and PGA assistant professional Eric Wohlfield of Brighton took full advantage with a bogey free, 7 under par 65 to win the Shootout At The Fortress on June 23rd. Teaching professional David Mickle of Concord finished second with a 2 under par 70, and former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Greg Stefan finished third with a 71.

The Fortress is a beautifully conditioned Dick Nugent design located just south of downtown Frankenmuth. Although not very long at 6,813 yards, the Fortress has narrow fairways that are pinched by both bunkers and deep fescue. The fescue is also in close proximity to many of the greens, making it crucial to control the direction of approach shots. The Fortress also has a difficult stretch of finishing holes which run along and over the Cass River, requiring the player to play solid golf all the way into the clubhouse.

For scores, please see the Results page.

Pictures From The Fortress
7th Hole, 437 yards, Par 4
16th Hole, 380 yards, Par 4
8th Hole, 409 yards, Par 4

Hartman Wins Moose Ridge Open

Steady 73 bests field by 3

June 15, 2009

Bret Hartman
South Lyon, Michigan – On a day almost too nice to play golf, Bret Hartman of Royal Oak played a solid round of 2 over par 73 at Moose Ridge G.C. to win the Moose Ridge Open by three shots.

A trio of players finished tied for second. Former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Greg Stefan, Pine Lake C.C. assistant pro Jeff Rachar, and playing professional Ben Boerma each shot 76. As a testament to the difficulty of the course, no other player in the field managed to break 80.

The event was played in absolutely perfect conditions, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Scoring was elusive, however, as the Moose Ridge greens staff had many of the pins tucked into their most difficult locations on the greens. In addition, Moose Ridge requires both precision driving and pinpoint approaches, as water hazards and jungle are immediately adjacent to fairways and greens on nearly every hole.

The event had a hockey flavor to it, as the field featured Stefan, now a NHL scout for the Carolina Hurricanes, and Tony Fotiu, who is a relative of former New York Rangers enforcer Nick Fotiu.

For scores, please go to the Results page.

Images From Moose Ridge G.C.
10th Hole, 342 yds., Par 4
16th Hole, 209 yds., Par 3
Jeremy Johns on 18th Tee

Tour Posts Page On Facebook

June 7, 2009

Tour Facebook Page
The Michigan Player's Tour has posted a page on Facebook, allowing players and fans to post their thoughts and other content on the site. The Facebook page will now be the primary source of "behind the scenes" information that was previously published in the Tour Newsletter. As a result, the Newsletter has been discontinued.

To access the Tour Facebook page, please click the logo on the right.

Tour Director Ken Carter has also created a page on Facebook -- his page can be accessed by clicking here.

Tour Schedule Adjusted

All events reduced to 18 holes

June 7, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour has decided to reduce all remaining 36 hole events on the 2009 schedule to 18 holes. This will allow a greater number of part-time players and PGA Section professionals to participate.

In particular, the changes were made to events at four courses / resorts, each of which were scheduled to host both Men's and Women's events. These courses are:

1. Treetops Resort

2. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

3. St. Ives Resort

4. Shepherd's Hollow G.C.

All other events, including MPT Extreme Series events remain unaffected.

Jurecic Dominates At Coyote Preserve Open

Posts stellar 69 in difficult conditions

June 1, 2009

Jay Jurecic
Fenton, Michigan – On a day of extreme contrasts, Jay Jurecic of Caspian, Michigan shot an outstanding two under par 69 to win the Coyote Preserve Open by seven shots over Justin Hull of Birmingham.

With a warm front in the vicinity, players were greeted with driving rain, a stiff wind, and temperatures in the low 50's for most of the round. After the front passed, the skies cleared and temperatures rose dramatically into the low 70's.

Although the rain was persistent, it never interrupted play nor made the course unplayable. It did, however, wreak havoc on scoring – only one player managed to break 40 on the front nine, and that was Jurecic.

Jurecic then proceeded to shoot a 3 under par 32 on the back nine, highlighted by an eagle on the par five 16th hole.

Coyote Preserve G.C. is an Arnold Palmer design measuring 6,912 yards. Although not long by modern standards, the course is wonderfully manicured, has a number of beautiful and challenging holes with dramatic changes in elevation, and a tremendous set of par threes. The 18th hole is a reachable par 5 which could provide for a dramatic finish.

For complete scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Coyote Preserve G.C.
5th Hole, 447 yds., Par 4
16th Hole, 589 yds., Par 5
18th Hole, 551 yds., Par 5

Amateur Buechel Wins At Boulder Pointe

Firefighter overcomes nerves, windy conditions to prevail

May 30, 2009

Fred Buechel
Oxford, Michigan – Fred Buechel, a fireman working for the City of Taylor, decided he needed a challenge. Despite having never played in an event competing against professionals, Buechel carded a solid 75 in very windy conditions and won the first event of the 2009 MPT Extreme Series. The event was played at the 7,424 yard par 72 Boulder Pointe G.C. in Oxford.

Second place went to professional Jay Jurecic of Caspian (near Iron River in the UP), who fired a 77. Jurecic, who finished 15th on the 2008 Dakota’s Tour money list, has played a few events on the Tour, winning the Shepherd’s Hollow Open in 2007.

Boulder Pointe G.C. is a strong test of golf with a numerous par 4s measuring over 450 yards and plenty of water. But with winds of 20 to 30 mph, it was all that anyone could handle. Holes playing into the wind which normally require a drive and 7 iron approach often required a 3 iron or more to reach the green.

With a frontal boundary passing through the region, the day started rainy and cool. But immediately prior to the first tee time, skied cleared and temperatures reached the low 70's. Most of the round was played in sunny conditions, but winds increased steadily as the round progressed.

Buechel has played in a number of amateur events in the past few years, including events on the Shooter’s Tour, which is based in Metro Detroit. Buechel won a gift certificate totaling $300.00 for the win.

For complete scores, please see the Results page.

Images From Boulder Pointe G.C.
4th Hole, 141 yds., Par 3
Fred Buechel teeing off on 1
4th Hole, 141 yds., Par 3

Tour Reduces Entry Fees, Adds Membership Fee

May 16, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour has reduced entry fees for all events in 2009. In 18 hole events, players will see a $25.00 reduction, and in 36 hole events, players will save $50.00.

In order to expand the Tour's marketing efforts, the Tour will now charge a minimal membership fee to all players in 2009. The fee will vary according to player status and the date a membership is purchased. A portion of the fee will be applied to entry fees of one or more events. To encourage participation, club professionals, assistants, and amateurs will be charged one half of the standard membership fee.

For additional information, please see the Entry Fees and Membership pages.

Tour Expands Amateur Eligibility

May 16, 2009

In order to increase field sizes and motivate more players to participate, the Michigan Player's Tour will now allow amateurs with a handicap of up to 8.0 to enter events. Previously, the cutoff for amateur players was 5.0.

Tour Schedule Adjusted

May 16, 2009

The Michigan Player's Tour has made a few adjustments to the 2009 schedule, and a slight change to the Membership policy. These changes are outlined below.

Schedule Changes

The Tour has reduced five 36 hole events to 18 holes. Entry fees for these events have been changed as well. For additional details, please see the Event Information page.

The events reduced to 18 holes are:

9th Hole, Hawk's Eye G.C., Bellaire
    1. The Coyote Preserve Open -- June 1st

    2. The Coyote Preserve Ladies Open -- June 1st

    3. The Moose Ridge Open -- June 15th

    4. The Moose Ridge Ladies Open -- June 15th

    5. The Shanty Creek Open -- August 3rd

Membership Policy Changes

The Membership policy has been amended so that a portion of the membership fee will be applied to deposits on events. The breakdown of this application is as follows:

1. Fifty dollars ($50.00) of the fee will be applied to Tour overhead and marketing.

2. The balance of the fee will be applied to one or more events as a deposit on the entry fee(s). The player may choose which events the balance applies.

In addition to how membership fees are allocated, the Tour will waive the membership fee for players who plan on playing in only one event. Players who wish to exercise this option must call in their entry by phone.

For additional information, players may call the Tour office at 1-888-678-8878.

2009 Schedule Nearing Completion

February 2, 2009

Some of the courses to be used on the 2009 Tour
The Michigan Players Tour is continuing to construct an exciting schedule for the upcoming season, and will put out a statement and much of the schedule in a few days.

The schedule will consist of at least 14 Regular Tour events, plus a collection of 6 to 8 "MPT Extreme Series" events, which will be staged primarily on Saturday afternoons. Several of the Regular Tour events will be 36 holes.

The Tour is also discussing the possibility of creating a few Pro-Am tournaments prior to some of the Regular Tour events. These Pro-Ams will offer spots to the general public.

"We're hopeful our marketing strategy will attract much larger fields this year," said Ken Carter, Director of the Tour. "With all of the tremendous courses we plan to compete on, it certainly will present an exciting challenge for all of the players."

MPT Extreme Series To Challenge Players

January 1, 2009

In 2009, the Tour will create a collection of events known as the “ MPT Extreme Series,” which will consist of 18 hole events on many of the most exotic courses in Michigan. The events will be held primarily on Saturdays, and the courses will be set up to play as difficult as they can while remaining "fair."

“These events will allow players to keep loose and get some work in between events on the regular Tour,” says Ken Carter, Director of The Michigan Player's Tour. "Our hope is these events will appeal to players who enjoy a difficult challenge and are searching for adventure. They will definitely get their wish with this series."

A wide variety of courses will be used in the Series, including a few courses in the U.P. “Some of the courses we want to compete on include UAW Black Lake, Dunmaglas, Elk Ridge, Black Forest, Garland, Boyne Resorts, Red Hawk, Timber Stone, Greywalls, etc. – courses which are pretty remote and perhaps too "wild" to host big events, but are awesome to play,” Carter says. “We can have a skins game and play for small purses based on the number of players, but mostly these events will be small and just for fun.”

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