Hutchison wins Michigan Open

Hutchison wins Michigan OpenWASHINGTON – Randy Hutchison saved the best for last. The 24-year-old mini-tour professional from Traverse City made a dramatic birdie on the 18th hole to win the Michigan Open Championship Thursday at The Orchards Golf Club.

“I knew I had to make a birdie, and I didn't expect him to make a bogey,” he said of the final hole drama in which he eclipsed the one-shot lead of Matt Thompson, who had birdied holes 16 and 17 to take a one-shot lead. “My last birdie had been on the sixth hole, so I was due for one.”

Hutchison hit a sand wedge shot to just two feet for the final birdie, while Thompson missed the green with a 7-iron shot, just missed making a chip shot from left of the green and finally missed a seven-foot par-saving putt. Hutchison then knocked his final short putt in for the win and fist-pump celebration. “It reminded me of a putt I made at a qualifier to get in a Buick Open (2009),” he said. “I had good thoughts and just knocked it in.”

Hutchison, a former Michigan State golfer, won $10,000 and heads back to the NGA Hooters Tour. His final birdie gave him a 2-under-par 70 for a 16-under-par 272 total.

Thompson, a Battle Creek resident who will be a senior on the University of Michigan golf team in the fall, finished at 273 with a 68.

Brian Ottenweller, a former University of Michigan Michigan player now on the mini-tour circuit, finished at 275 and in third place with a 67.

Muskegon pro Andy Ruthkoski, the 2007 Open champion, shot 70 for 279 and fourth place, and Ann Arbor amateur Martin Jeppesen, an Eastern Michigan University golfer, shot 66 for 280 and fifth place. Sixth place went to mini-tour pro Ryan Lenahan of Grosse Pointe Shores, who shot a course-record 63 for 281. PGA Tour star Mike Weir was the previous record-holder at 65.

Hutchison was feeling great about his win.

“It's always great to play in the Michigan Open, and to get my first professional win in this tournament is great,” he said. “Winning with my parents here – it's just great, exactly the way you want it.”

Thompson, who was also second in the 2009 Michigan Open, missed at being the first amateur to win a state Open since 1975.

“I feel like he beat me,” he said of Hutchison. “I made bogey on the last hole, missed the green, then just missed that chip, but I shot 15-under. He just beat me. Randy's a great player. He made a great birdie there to win.”

«  Michigan Open Final Results.xls‎




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