Michigan Open Begins Monday at Katke-Cousins

Jake Kneen Wins 2018 Michigan Open
Jake Kneen Will Defend His Michigan Open Title Next Week

HALL FINANCIAL MICHIGAN OPEN: Jake Kneen Defends on Familiar Turf For Record Purse

   ROCHESTER HILLS – Playing for an all-time record purse, competing at the golf facility where he starred as a collegiate golfer and defending his second state championship hits all the markers for White Lake’s Jake Kneen.

  “It’s pretty cool and I’ve been excited since I found out it was coming together this way,” said Kneen who will head the field in the Hall Financial Michigan Open Championship presented by Make The Turn, Brighton Ford and Coppercraft Distillery, next week, June 12-15, on the Katke-Cousins Golf Course at Oakland University Golf & Learning Center.

   “Oakland University and Katke-Cousins, it’s a special place and what Mr. Hall and his company have put together in sponsoring the tournament is tremendous. I think all the players appreciate the opportunity to play in the Hall Financial Michigan Open.”

  The 106th edition of the championship, which has additional supporting sponsorship by Broadwell Homes, District Insurance and Harbor Title Agency, features an all-time record purse of $122,500.

  “A lot of positive energy has been generated with the move to Oakland University, and enthusiastic continued support from Hall Financial and additional support with new partners have made the record purse possible,” Justin Phillips, the Michigan Section PGA tournament director said. “Then we have Jake, who has been a great champion twice and it’s perfect he gets to defend his championship where he played college golf. We have a strong field, a great purse and tremendous support and we anticipate a great event.”

  The Michigan Section annually conducts the state championship, which is being contested for the first time at Oakland U. The Katke-Cousins course, one of two courses at the facility, is familiar to most of the players as it has served as host of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship from 2012-14 and hosted numerous Golf Association of Michigan tournaments and qualifiers and NCAA events as home of the Oakland University golf teams.

  Last June at Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Kneen added his name to the James D. Standish Trophy as champion for the second time. His first win was in 2018 just after completing his collegiate golf career and playing as an amateur. Last fall after Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Kneen decided to stop touring as a professional and is currently working at Carl’s Golfland.

  The 27-year-old who is maintaining his professional status at this time is getting married in October to Olivia Neumann and going back to school at Oakland University, where he will work on an MBA and work with the men’s and women’s teams as a graduate assistant coach.

  “That’s all just kind of come together recently, so there’s a lot to be excited about,” he said. “I’ve been so honored to win two Michigan Opens. I have to pinch myself sometimes when I think about it. There are so many great golfers and to be a part of it is a blessing.”

   Kneen said the Katke-Cousins course is a great championship venue.

  “It’s a different style course than the Bear, it will play longer and in a lot of places it demands more from your driver,” he said. “While it’s not super tight and you can play from the rough, it’s significantly easier to hit the greens from the fairway. The rough and tree lines can be very challenging.”

  Kneen’s only competitive round this year was local qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship, but he has been getting in as much practice as working full-time allows.

  “Obviously I know the golf course well and I’m looking forward to competing,” he said. “It’s already a great week for me and it hasn’t started yet.”

  First played in 1916, the Michigan Open annually attracts the top professional and amateur golfers in the state and its list of winners includes golf legends Walter Hagen, Al Watrous, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and Dave Hill, and more recent Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductees Randy Erskine, Buddy Whitten, Lynn Janson, Jeff Roth, Tom Gillis and Scott Hebert. Current PGA Tour member Ryan Brehm is a three-time winner of the historic James D. Standish Jr. trophy.

ABOUT HALL FINANCIAL: David Hall started in the mortgage business in 1996 and his passion for the business and his clients has never been stronger. After working for others for over 20 years, David started Hall Financial in 2016 with the core mission to be the most client-focused mortgage company in the industry. Website: callhallfirst.com

SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Broadwell Homes broadwellhomes.com, District Insurance gowithdistrict.com,  Harbor Title Agency harbortitleagency.com

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