White Maintains Lead At 2020 Michigan Open. Cook One Shot Behind. Leaderboard Crowded At Turtle Creek Michigan Open.
ACME – Caledonia’s Brett White remained the leader, but Benny Cook, another guy from Caledonia, and several others crept closer Tuesday in the Turtle Creek Casino Michigan Open Championship on The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
White shot a 2-under 70 to check in at 8-under 136 at the halfway point of the $115,000 championship, and one shot behind was Cook, the recent Michigan PGA Professional Champion who shot 69 for 137 and grew up in the same community near Grand Rapids.
“We went to different high schools and they were in different divisions, but we played the local tournaments, played a lot together, so it’s been pretty cool seeing his success as he’s turned pro,” White said of Cook.
“I’m not surprised he’s playing well and tomorrow we do it again. I shot 70 after a 66 and tomorrow I start all over again. I didn’t think about yesterday out there today. It was a completely different course with the setup. The wind was completely different. So every day, you go out there and start again and stick to your plan.”
A crowd is involved with 12 golfers within four shots of the lead.
Ben VanScoyk of Grand Rapids, a younger mini-tour pro from the same area of the state, shot 70 for 138 and is two shots behind at 138.
Defending champion Eric Lilleboe of Okemos shot 69 to move within three shots at 139 at the 2020 Michigan Open. He was tied with 68-shooting Reed Hrynewich of Muskegon, a former University of Michigan golfer who has come back to pro golf after a three-year work hiatus, and Traverse City’s Patrick Colburn, who shot 67 and is transitioning back to amateur status after being a professional.
Six golfers checked in at 140, four off the pace, and included six-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, who shot 71, and 2011 Open champion Randy Hutchinson, a Traverse City mini-tour professional.
The others at 140 were top Michigan PGA section player John Seltzer of Grand Rapids, who shot 68, 2018 Michigan Amateur champion and now pro Beau Breault of Howell, who shot 71, Grand Valley State sophomore Charles DeLong of DeWitt, who shot 71, and Jerred Barley, a professional from Tipton who shot 69.
The 36-hole fell at 6-over 150 with 72 players moving on to Wednesday’s third round.
White, who is playing his first tournament since May after suffering sciatic nerve issues in his back, highlighted his round with an eagle on the par 5 No. 6 hole. He hit a 4-iron 221 to four feet and made the putt.
“I got off to a good start, but towards the end I was leaking oil a little bit,” he said. “Overall, it was under par and I’ll always take under par.”
The former Eastern Michigan University golfer said the quick turnaround from Monday’s afternoon play to Tuesday’s morning round was tough on his back, but he said he will have a longer break before playing Wednesday.
“I’ll do a little rehab and be ready to go,” he said. “I feel good.”
Cook, who shot a 4-under 32 on the front side, said he played well except for a sloppy double-bogey on No. 15.
“I chipped in for eagle there, so that was a huge bonus because I was about 15 yards right of the green there,” he said. “I had a couple of putts on the last two holes that I just didn’t give enough speed or it could have been a really good round.”
The former Ferris State University golfer who recently played in the PGA Championship in San Francisco, said he was happy to be sitting second.
“I haven’t played with Brett yet this year so that will be a fun pairing,” he said. “We’ve known each other a long time. We both went off to college and kind of figured golf out and now we’re competing as pros in the Michigan Open. I think it’s great.”
The 2020 Michigan Open Continues Wednesday.
ABOUT GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT & CASINOS: Owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos offers world-class gaming, golf, dining, and spa amenities in the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The premier properties include Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, and Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge, along with EDC ventures Turtle Creek Market, Eagletown Market, and more. For more information, visit www.gtbindians.com, www.turtlecreekcasino.com, www.grandtraverseresort.com.
via Greg Johnson