Michael Nagy Holds Off Joey Garber to Win 2017 Michigan Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain
BOYNE FALLS – Each time Manistique’s Michael Nagy looked at the scoreboards on the back nine of the Alpine course at Boyne Mountain Resort he noticed local favorite Joey Garber was getting closer and closer.
“It feels pretty good for sure because it was definitely stressful at the end,” the mini-tour professional said after closing with a final round 6-under 66 and a one-shot win over Garber, a Petoskey native who shot 64 in the final round of the 26th Tournament of Champions Wednesday.
“I was absolutely feeling the heat, and I hit a few loose shots at the end, but I also made a couple of big pars when I needed to.”
Nagy, a former University of Tennessee golfer, three-time state high school champion and past Michigan Junior State Amateur champion, finished with a 15-under 201 total.
Garber, a former Michigan Amateur champion also currently on the mini-tour circuit and sponsored by Boyne in his pro efforts, closed at 202 after shooting 6-under 30 on the back nine and closing what had been a five-shot Nagy lead to one.
“When I was going to the back nine I thought if I shoot 30 I have a chance, and I did what I had to do,” Garber, a former University of Georgia golfer said. “I let two par 5s get away from me where I made par, and I made mistakes (in the second round) that cost me. But it was nice to come back home and put on a bit of a show for Boyne. They are helping me get to where I want to be, and Mike is a nice guy and he played great all week.”
Two senior professionals, 2011 champion Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage in Glen Arbor and Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, tied for third at 206 after both shot 70 to close.
Two-time past Michigan Tournament of Champions winner Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon shot 66 for 207, and mini-tour player Otto Black of Pinckney shot 69 for 208.
Two more former TOC champs tied at 210 – Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, who shot 70, and five-time winner Jeff Roth of Farmington, NM, who shot 72.
Jake Kneen of White Lake, an Oakland University golfer, was low amateur with a 67 for 211. Also at 211 were defending champion Korey Mahoney of Manton, who shot 73, this summer’s Michigan Open champion Matt Thompson of Marshall Country Club, who shot 75, and Eric Lilleboe of Okemos, who shot 70.
Shasta Averyhardt, a Flint native, tied for 29th after shooting a 74 for 218. She was the low woman in the field. Jerry Gunthorpe of Ovid was the low senior amateur with a 73 for 220 and tie for 34th.
The $55,000 Michigan Tournament of Champions featured men, women, juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs playing from different tee positions for the same title, and all were invited based on their having won significant Michigan championships.
Nagy won $8,000, and Garber $5,000, and both are headed back on the road following the Web.com circuit. Just 11 days ago Nagy won on the Dakotas Tour in South Dakota, and said he had a five-shot lead dwindle there, too.
“I thought about that and I used the same mentality of being aggressive and try to distance myself,” he said. “I drew from that experience, and this one will help me, too. Joey came after me and I battled through it.”
A key 10-foot par-saving putt at No. 16 was crucial to the cause for Nagy, who also pulled a wedge shot into the fringe at No. 18 and was forced to again save par and avoid a playoff with Garber.
“No matter what level you are playing at, or where you are playing, hitting good shots to close out a win is a hard thing to do,” Nagy said. “I’m learning, and pulling it off is a great thing.”
Nagy played in the TOC for the first time. His mother Beth came along on the trip and they celebrated her birthday Tuesday. In addition to the trophy, Nagy received the traditional green jacket and a lifetime membership to Country Club of Boyne.
“I had taken three days off at home and didn’t have too high of expectations coming here because I thought I might have a little rust,” Nagy said. “But I got into it right away. I’m really glad I came.”
ABOUT BOYNE MOUNTAIN RESORT: 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 BOYNEGolf.com, boynemountain.com or call 866-759-1472.
SCORING: Results for the 2017 Michigan Tournament of Champions are available at www.michiganpgagolf.com
via Greg Johnson