18th annual Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain July 20-22

Boyne Mt.When the Boyne Tournament of Champions was conceived in 1992, the founders envisioned a gathering of champions from every Michigan golf circuit. They have achieved that over the years and the 2009 version is turning into a family affair as well. The tournament will be played on The Alpine Course at Boyne Mountain, July 20-22 with 113 players in the field.

The tournament is the brainchild of Boyne Resorts’ president of eastern operations, Stephen Kircher, and former Michigan PGA, CEO, Ken Devine. The field is made up past champions from professionals and amateurs, men and women, juniors and seniors’ majors that are played in Michigan. 

Dan Olsen, who went on to play the PGA Tour won the inaugural event in 1992 with what is commonly referred to as the 3-1-3- finish. He birdied number 16, aced number 17 and birdied number 18 for a dramatic come from behind win over amateur, Gary Domagalski. Both are Lansing area natives.

Olsen teaches in Florida, plays an occasional tour event and will be back to play this year.

Other past champions returning in 2009 are Stacy Olson (Snider) of Grand Rapids, the only woman to win the event, which drew national attention and defending champion, Jeff Roth, of Flushing who is a part time Champions Tour player.  Roth has won the Boyne Tournament of Champions four times. Shawn Koch, the  2001 Champions is also playing.

The field also includes two father and son duos with Frank and Frank McAuliffe Jr. of Ann Arbor along with Ron and Blake English of Charlotte.

Pete and Suzie Green are both playing. This father and daughter combination from Franklin hold 16 titles between them.

Boyne Mountain Alpine Course

And there are two sets of brothers playing. Steve and Jeff Cuzzort of Grosse Isle while  John and David Nolan from Van Dyke Sports Center make up the other sibling rivalry.

The Tournament of Champions has a Master’s feel to it. The champion becomes a lifelong member of the Country Club of Boyne, receives a green sport jacket and sets the menu for the Champions dinner held each year.  This year’s purse is $55,000. The field will be cut down to the top 70 and ties after two rounds in this 54-hole event.

New this year, Boyne Mountain is hosting two free clinics on Sunday, July 19 that are open to the public.

The Junior Instructional Golf Clinic is offered from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and is open to golfers ages 17 and under of all abilities.  The clinic will be lead by instructors of Boyne’s Junior Golf Academy and the resort’s golf professionals.  Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Boyne Mountain driving range.

From 10:30 a.m. to Noon, a Champions Clinic featuring four past champions – Jeff Roth, Tom Harding, Mike Erickson, and Shawn Koch – is being hosted and provides a question-and-answer session with the champions plus an insider look at their success, approach to the game and shot demonstrations.

Roth won the title in 1995, ’96, ’99 and 2008; Harding in ’97; Erickson is the ’93 champion; and Koch is the ’01 champion.

Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan is a full-service resort offering two golf courses, The Alpine and The Monument, along with Michigan’s largest indoor watepark, spa and salon services, disc golf, tennis, hiking and biking, a putting course, sandy beach with kayaks, sail boats and row boats and evening activities for families. Golf packages start at $72 for a Room & Round or $101 for Unlimited Golf.

For more information on the clinics, Tournament of Champions, or Boyne Mountain Resort, please visit www.boyne.com or call 800.GO.BOYNE (462-6963)

Live scoring is available at www.GolfStat.com or www.michiganpga.com.

For more information on the Tournament of Champions event, please visit www.michigan.pga.com


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