BOYNE FALLS - Families who seek an array of activities find Boyne Mountain Resort an irresistible destination, and that includes golfing families competing against one another in one of the game's most unique championships Monday through Wednesday on The Alpine course.
Three-father-son combinations, a father-daughter combination and a set of brothers will be among the 101 golfers in the starting field of the 22nd Tournament of Champions.
The 54-hole event brings together men, women, juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs competing against each other from three sets of tees for the same coveted championship. Each player in the field has won a Michigan major golf tournament or state title to earn the invitation to compete. The top 70 scorers and ties make the 36-hole cut and play the final round. The event is sanctioned and administered by the Michigan PGA.
Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Seltzer and his son John, Frank McAuliffe and his son Frank IV, Bill Mory and his son Chris, brothers Jeff and Steven Cuzzort and amateur golf legend Pete Green and his daughter, Suzanne Green-Roebuck, will seek a title that has been won most often by male professionals, but also by a woman (Stacy Snider in 2003).
Last year Jeff Roth, a former Flint and Detroit area golf professional who now lives in Farmington, New Mexico, and sometimes plays on the Champions Tour as a senior golfer, won for a record-tying fifth time (Michael Harris). Roth first won the event in 1995 and also won in '96, 99, 2008 and 2012.
Henry Do of Ypsilanti, who has finished high school and is headed to North Carolina on a golf scholarship, almost became the first amateur winner two years ago before faltering on the last few holes to a rally by touring pro Andy Matthews. Do is in the field again this year, as are 22 other amateur golfers.
Suzanne Green-Roebuck, a multiple winner of the Michigan Women's Open, Oakland University golfer Gabriella Yurik of Rochester and Kelly Hartigan of Lake Orion, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for Grand Valley State University, are among the notable women taking on the men and boys in this year's field.
The professional docket is loaded as expected in a field of major championship winners. Six-time Michigan Open and Michigan PGA winner Scott Hebert, who won the TOC in 2009, is back, as is Roth, 2011 winner Lee Houtteman and past champions Tom Harding (1997), Agim Bardha (1994) and Michael Erickson (1993).
Last year's Michigan Amateur champion, Drew Preston of Ada, who is now a professional, is in the field, as is last year's Michigan Open champion, Barrett Kelpin, a professional from Kalamazoo.
Andy Ruthkoski, Tim Matthews, Ron Buermann, Brian Cairns, Willie Mack III and Dave Kendall are among the notable golfers in a field full of notable golfers.
Roth earned $10,000 for his win last year, donned the traditional green jacket befitting Michigan's version of a Masters Tournament and could make more history this year. His win a year ago tied him with legend Al Watrous for the most major championships in Michigan golf history. A win this week would give Roth 16 major Michigan titles.
"I think about that number almost every day," quipped Roth minutes after he won a year ago.
Boyne Mountain Resort has been a favorite Midwest destination since 1948. The family-owned, four-season resort has earned Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler readers as being among the top 50 Best Places to Ski and Stay in North America. The waterpark is listed among Budget Travel's Top 10 Indoor facilities and the resort is a readers' choice favorite of Spa Magazine.
Boyne Mountain is home to The Alpine and The Monument golf courses, as well as 60 runs on 415 skiable acres. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Solace Spa, Michigan's largest indoor waterpark, Zipline Adventures, disc golf facilities, lift-serviced mountain biking, beach activities, kids programs, lodging, meeting and wedding facilities as well as real-estate attract families.
And the Tournament of Champions brings in families, too.
Find out more at BOYNE.com, www.facebook.com/boynemountain or call 800.GO.BOYNE (462-6963).
Contact tournament media coordinator Greg Johnson at 616-560-8995 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Boyne Mountain Resort information, contact Erin Ernst, Boyne's director of communications, at 231-549-6832 or email@example.com. Justin Phillips is the tournament director for the Michigan PGA. He can be reached at 517-641-7421 or JPhillips@michiganpga.com.
Live scoring and tee times will be available at www.michiganpgagolf.com. Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free.