CANTON – Dearborn’s Evan Bowser, powered by a trio of consecutive 2s in his 7-under total for the 27-hole final round, won the Michigan Publinx Medal Play Championship Sunday at Pheasant Run Golf Club.
The recent Oakland University graduate and golf standout rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on hole 23 West, a 206-yard par 3, then flew in a sand-wedge approach shot on the 368-yard par 4 24th hole and added the hat trick of 2s with a 15-foot birdie putt that twirled around the cup on the par 3 25th hole.
“Those 2s add up slowly and that’s nice,” Bowser said after his second significant title of the spring. He also won the Horton Smith Invitational earlier this month at Detroit Golf Club.
“Had a great group, all playing well and I just played great all day,” he said. “I played the par 5s well. You can score on them so you have to take advantage. The par 3s are not easy, so to get a few 2s was great.”
Bowser’s 7-under 101 to go with a first-day 108 gave him a 209 total and a five-shot win over runner-up John Quigley. Robert Matthiesen was third with a closing 108 for 217. Jake Kneen, Bowser’s Oakland University teammate, shot 114 for 217 and tied with Larry Sterling Jr., who closed with a 110, to round out the top five.
Charles Worrilow of South Lyon won the Senior Scratch title, and Terry Aikin won the Open Net title as 115 golfers played 54 holes over two days.
Bowser, the all-time scoring leader at Oakland U. and the first four-time all-conference player for the Grizzlies (Horizon League), is planning to play this summer as an amateur and then try professional golf.
“Unless something crazy happens, that’s the plan, a last summer kind of thing,” he said. “I had a great four years at Oakland. Our team finished second in the Horizon. It feels great to win this. Paul Kolton talked me into playing in the Publinx last year, and this is my first time in this tournament. I’m glad I played. It was fun out there.”
Worrilow’s Senior Scratch title surprised him. The 53-year-old UPS employee said he didn’t feel like he was playing well in carding a final 6-over 114 for a 224 total for a one-shot win over Mike Fedewa, who shot a closing 114, and Mark Codere, who shot a 112.
Smith Patterson shot 114 for 226 and Matt Wiley shot 113 for 227 to round out the top five.
“I had a rough start, but I finished well,” Worrilow said. “I was 3-under through the last 15 holes or so. I was thinking someone must be playing better, but it didn’t turn out that way. That was a bonus.”
Worrilow has played in the Publinx for 16 years, and was a runner-up in a playoff for the championship 15 years ago.
“It feels great to win,” he said. “It’s awesome really. Winning is always good.”
Aikin, a 52-year-old Royal Oak resident who runs an appraisal management company in Troy, was very surprised to emerge the Net winner by one shot over Thomas Mulhern, who shot 107 for net 214.
“I missed a putt on 27 and a putt on 26, left them both short, and I thought I really needed them at the time,” he said after his closing net 108 for 213. “I was limping in, but I hit a great tee shot on 27 (par 5 on the West), then knocked it over the green with a nice 5-iron shot. It feels fantastic to win.”
Aikin, who has a 14 GAM/USGA handicap index, is a tri-athlete and didn’t play much golf for several years while concentrating on his other sport. He started playing in the Publinx again last year.
“It’s a great group of people, a great group of guys and a lot of fun,” he said.
Complete results can be found at www.mipublinx.com.
via Greg Johnson