Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood has become the first amateur to win the Michigan Open since 1975.
Werkmeister shot an even-par 72 Thursday at The Orchards Golf Club in Macomb County’s Washington Township. He closed with a 13-under 275, two shots better than defending champion Barrett Kelpin of Kalamazoo.
He is the fifth amateur to win the 96-year-old tournament.
Werkmeister, a 45-year-old Internet salesman, says the accomplishment was better than winning the 2009 Michigan Amateur because he was competing against mini-tour professionals. Werkmeister says he was inspired because Julie Breuker, whose husband, John, is his close friend, was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
He will get a chance to defend the title at a new venue next year because the Michigan Open is moving to Highland’s Prestwick Village Golf Club.
Traverse City amateur Patrick Colburn tied for 10th at 4-under 284. Manitou Passage’s Lee Houtteman tied for 13th at 3-under 285. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s Scott Hebert tied for 18th at 1-under 287.