Ryan Brehm Earns Wire-to-Wire Win at Michigan Open

Ryan Brehm, 2009 Michigan Open championAfter six straight missed cuts this year on the Hooters Tour, long-hitting Ryan Brehm was, like any golfer who struggles to get a grip on his game, beginning to doubt himself.

A dominant eight-shot wire-to-wire win at the 92nd Michigan Open, presented by Lincoln Mercury, changed all of that.

"Golf is a battle against yourself a lot of the time," said Brehm, who closed with a 2-under-par round of 69. "This week, I kept control over myself - the best I've ever done."

A former Michigan State Spartan adn the 2007 Michigan Amateur champion, Brehm blasted the competition at Orchard Lake Country Club with booming drives that sometimes traveled in excess of 330 yards. His overall score of 20-under-par 264 was just three shots shy of the all-time tournament record set by Chick Harbert in 1948 at nearby Tam O'Shanter Country Club.

Finishing eight shots back of Brehm were two players with outstanding credentials. University of Michigan sophomore Matt Thompson shot an 8-under-par 63 in the second round, but couldn't muster a final round charge to chalellenge the champion.

Jeff Roth, who is currently playing on the Champions Tour, also wound up with a 272 total and finished eight shots back. He was impressed with Brehm's performance.

“He played tremendous," said Roth, a two-time Michigan Open champion. "To shoot 19 or 20 under par is phenomenal. I don’t care if it’s a 5,800-yard golf course for him. That’s a great score.”

Brehm took home $10,000 for his win, but perhaps more importantly, the victory gave him the confidence and self assurance he'll need going forward in his professional golf career.

"It's nice to come back to Michigan and get a victory," he said. "I've got to be honest with you, there are times when you think, man can I really do this? What are you doing? How do you get better?

"There are a lot of questions, and you doubt yourself sometimes," he added. "But I think persistence really pays off, and this week is evidence of that."

Brehm played for Mt. Pleasant High School and was a three-time All-State Super Team member and won the MHSAA Division 2 state title in 2003. He started strong at Michigan State University winning Big 10 Freshman of the Year. In 2005, he became the first amateur since 1966 to make the cut at the Buick Open.


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