WASHINGTON, Mich. — In a wet and dreary first round of the Michigan Open, Scott Hebert and Tom Werkmeister weren’t too disappointed.
Werkmeister leads the event after shooting an opening-round 66 Monday on the par-72 Orchards Golf Club.
Hebert, the head golf pro at Grand Traverse Resort, was tied with fourth others for second with a 69.
Werkmeister, a 45-year-old amateur and internet salesman from Kentwood, hit each of the 18 greens in regulation to take a three-shot lead in the 96th version of the state championship.
“I like playing in this crappy weather,” said Werkmeister, the 2009 Michigan Amateur champion. “I really enjoy it. I embrace it or something. I don’t know. It’s weird. You have to have the right attitude. It didn’t bother me at all when got here and saw this weather. In fact Scott Hebert said ‘hello’ and said ‘you love this kind of weather don’t you?’ This was on the practice tee. I said, ‘I sure do.’”
Hebert, a six-time Michigan Open champion from Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, was among the group of five golfers tied for second at 3-under-par 69.
Of the starting field of 156 golfers, 19 finished under par. Five golfers were four shots off the lead at 70, including 2012 Michigan Amateur champion Drew Preston of Grand Rapids and former University of Michigan golfer and mini-tour pro Matt Thompson of Battle Creek.
Other top local participants include Traverse City’s Patrick Colburn (12th, 71), Cedar’s Lee Houtteman and Gaylord Alex Dombrowski (20th, even), Petoskey’s Mark Matz (28th, 73), Boyne Golf Academy’s Barry Redmond (37th, 74), Manistee’s Zack Bialik (66th, 76), Indian River’s John Micoff (79th, 77), Traverse City’s Nick Muller (93rd, 78), Petoskey’s Garrett Johnson (137th, 82) and Grayling Paul Wilson (150th, 86).
The field of 156 plays a second round Ttoday with a cut to the low 70 scores and ties following. The 72-hole tournament continues through Thursday.