HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP (AP) — Ryan Brehm shot a 1-over-par 73 Thurdsay to hold off Petoskey’s Joey Garber, claiming the Michigan Open Championship by two strokes at Prestwick Village Golf Club.
The 28-year-old ex-Michigan State star from Grand Rapids finished with a four-round, 20-under total of 268. He now plays on the PGA Tour Canada.
Garber shot a 4-under 68 on the final round to finish at 270. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa pro Scott Hebert was third at 275, while Andrew Ruthkoski of Muskegon and amateur Alexander Dombrowski of Gaylord tied for fourth at 277.
Garber, down seven shots starting the day, pulled to within a stroke after nine holes.
“It’s a lot of relief right now after a long day,” said Brehm. “I started the day with a large lead and it was difficult to get the right mind-set throughout the day. Joey Garber played an awesome round of golf, too. He put a whole lot of pressure on me. I tried to stay patient and do the things I needed to do to win. It feels really good to have pulled it off.”
Brehm won $8,500 and a one-year lease on a new Cadillac
Garber, making his professional debut after a stellar college career at the University of Georgia, started on fire with five birdies in the first seven holes, and was within one shot after Brehm pushed a 5-iron shot over the ninth green and then three-putted for a double-bogey 6. Brehm birdied No. 10 though, matched Garber’s birdie at No. 15 and saved a clutch par from in front of the green at No. 17.
“I was feeling good with the putter when I was 5-under through seven, and I thought I could roll some in late if I needed,” Garber said. “They just didn’t fall and Ryan did exactly what he had to do.”
Garber picked up a check of $5,000, Hebert took home $4,000 after his closing 70. Dombrowski, a Princeton University golfer from Gaylord, was low amateur. He closed with a 68.