Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 23, 2012

Top 10: Hutchison, Houtteman, Hebert savor a 'great year' on the links

By MIKE ECKERT
meckert@record-eagle.com

ACME — Once again, Traverse City was well represented in the golfing world in 2012.

The biggest splash came from former TC Central golfer Randy Hutchison, who capped his year by qualifying for the Web.com Tour at the PGA Tour's Q-school earlier this month.

His 73rd-place finish at the six-round tournament gives him exemption for the Web.com Tour's first eight events. If he makes the cut once, he gets a full-time card for the rest of 2013.

That wasn't the only highlight for Hutchison in 2012.

In October, the former MSU standout led wire-to-wire to win a NGA Tour Bridgsetone Winter Series event in Florida.

And, he got some redemption on the PGA Tour.

After playing in the 2009 Buick Open and missing the cut, Hutchison had a better showing in his second attempt. He won the qualifier for the John Deere Classic in July, made the cut and finished with a 68-68-71-69.

"This was probably my best year as a professional golfer," Hutchison said. "I met all of my goals that I set at the beginning of the season. I'm thankful I was healthy enough and everything fell my way to achieve them."

It was also a good year for Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

Lee Houtteman, a pro at GT Resort, kicked things off by playing in the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor over Memorial Weekend. It was the first time Houtteman had played in a major tournament, and he was one of only two Michigan golfers in the field.

Then in September, Houtteman won the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship, which was his second "Michigan Major" victory.

Houtteman beat Ann Arbor's Tim Katanski 3-and-1 for the title. In the round of 16, he also beat Scott Hebert, the head pro at GT Resort & Spa.

Hebert picked up a win in August by taking the Michigan PGA Professional Championship. It was his sixth win at the event over the last seven years.

And, GT Resort & Spa picked up a victory.

The Bear was selected as the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association's Golf Course of the Year.

"It was a great year," Hebert said. "The Bear was named Course of the Year. That was the culmination. It was a good year business-wise, it was great weather-wise and the courses were fantastic."