23rd Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort starts Monday

Michigan’s Tournament of Champions is a unique event featuring 102 men, women, juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs who all share one thing: each has won a Michigan major or state title. The event is played at the renowned Boyne Mountain Resort starting today.

The top 70 and ties make the 36 hole cut and will play in the final round of the 54-hole event. The event is sanctioned and administered by the Michigan PGA.

If you’re in the area (and I know a lot of my readers are), you might consider stopping in to see some top shelf golf. Admission is free.

Full press release follows:

23rd Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort starts Monday

BOYNE FALLS – Andy Ruthkoski, the 2013 champion of the Tournament of Champions, said playing in the unique tournament at Boyne Mountain Resort is a highlight of his competitive schedule.

“It’s like going on this great vacation and a cool tournament happens, too,” said the 31-year-old Muskegon professional mini-tour golfer regarding the 23rd Tournament of Champions that will be played on the Alpine Course Monday through Wednesday.

“I look forward to it. My family looks forward to it. I’ve been to a lot of states and none of them have a tournament like this, or even a collection of golf like Boyne has in Northern Michigan. I really can’t wait to play it every year.”

Ruthkoski will head a field of 102 golfers in the 23rd annual version of the event that brings together men, women, juniors, seniors, professionals, amateurs and even members of the same families competing against each other from three sets of tees for the same coveted championship.

Each player in the field has won a Michigan major golf tournament or state title to earn the invitation to compete. The top 70 scorers and ties make the 36-hole cut and play the final round in the 54-hole event. The tournament is sanctioned and administered by the Michigan PGA.

Dan Olsen of Monroe Golf & Country Club, the winner of the first TOC in 1992 is one of eight former TOC champions in the field. In addition to Ruthkoski and Olsen, who had the remarkable and historic 3-1-3 (birdie-ace-birdie) finish to win in ‘92, are Mike Erickson of Bloomfield Hills Country Club (1993), Agim Bardha of Birmingham (1994), who was the first senior winner, five-time winner Jeff Roth of New Mexico (1995, ’96, ’99, 2008, ’12), Tom Harding of Kendall Academy in Ypsilanti (1997), Scott Hebert of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (2009) and Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage Golf Club (2011).

The only woman to win the tournament, Stacy Snider of Grandville in 2003, did not enter though she recently returned to the state as the head women’s golf coach at Western Michigan University.

PGA Tour Canada player Drew Preston of Ada, who led after each of the first two rounds last year, is back in the field, as is Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center, the Michigan PGA Player of the Year for the last three years and Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, the reigning Michigan PGA Senior Player of the Year.

Last month’s Michigan Amateur champion, Henry Do of Canton, who lost in a dramatic playoff to winner Andy Matthews of Ada in the 2010 TOC, returns, as does recent Michigan PGA Senior Open winner Ian Harris of Bloomfield Hills and the 2013 Michigan Amateur champion Andrew Chapman of Traverse City. They are among the 30 amateurs in the field.

PGA professional Matt Pesta of Lincoln Hills Golf Course, who is playing in the PGA Championship later this summer at Valhalla, is in the field, as is 2012 Michigan Open winner Barrett Kelpin of Kalamazoo.

Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Pete Green of Franklin and his daughter Suzanne Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor, Frank McAuliffe of Kendall Academy and his son Frank IV of Ann Arbor, Bill and Chris Mory of Meridian Sun Golf Club in Haslett, Joe and Nick Berklich of Indianwood Golf & Country Club and Jerry and Kyle Roman of Hidden River Golf & Country Club are among the many family combinations in the tournament.

Ruthkoski earned $10,000 for his win last year and donned the traditional green jacket befitting Michigan’s version of a Masters Tournament.

Boyne Mountain Resort has been a favorite Midwest destination since 1948. The family-owned, four-season resort has earned Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler readers as being among the top 50 Best Places to Ski and Stay in North America. The waterpark is listed among Budget Travel’s Top 10 Indoor facilities and the resort is a readers’ choice favorite of Spa Magazine.

Boyne Mountain is home to The Alpine and The Monument golf courses, as well as 60 runs on 415 skiable acres. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Solace Spa, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Zipline Adventures, disc golf facilities, lift-serviced mountain biking, beach activities, kids programs, lodging, meeting and wedding facilities as well as real-estate are offered at the resort.

Find out more at http://www.BOYNE.com, http://www.facebook.com/boynemountain or call 800.GO.BOYNE (462-6963).

Contact tournament media coordinator Greg Johnson at 616-560-8995 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For Boyne Mountain Resort information, contact Erin Ernst, Boyne’s director of communications at 231-549-6832 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Justin Phillips is the tournament director for the Michigan PGA. He can be reached at 517-641-7421 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Live scoring and tee times will be available at http://www.michiganpgagolf.com. Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free.

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