BOYNE FALLS – Caledonia’s Brett White said it was a perfect storm that he came home to Michigan and won the Tournament of Champions.
“There was a scheduled week off from the Korn Ferry Tour, I’m getting married Sunday in Grand Rapids and I could have played in a Rocket Mortgage qualifier (PGA Tour in Detroit) but that might have been cutting it close to the ceremony if I got in and made the cut,” he said and laughed after going wire-to-wire to win the 30th Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort Wednesday.
The 29-year-old touring pro shot a closing even-par 72 on the Alpine course for 12-under 204 to win by four shots and take home the $9,000 first-place check from the $65,000 purse. He was also awarded the traditional green dinner jacket and became a BOYNE Golf member for winning the unique tournament that brings together Michigan championship-winning men, women, professionals, amateurs, seniors and juniors playing for the same title from different tee positions.
“I’m really glad I got the chance to play in this,” he said. “That was one of the big perks of winning the Michigan Open (2020), getting to play in this with a lot of the golfers who helped me and taught me how to conduct myself when I was a junior, a lot of my friends, college buddies and then some of the women who have competed with my sister (reigning Michigan PGA Women’s Open champion Sarah White), too.
“It’s really special to play in this and win this. I love coming to Boyne and Northern Michigan. I didn’t know I would be a member by winning this, too. I definitely hope to take advantage of that.”
Beau Breault of Howell, a mini-tour player who was a teammate of White on the Eastern Michigan University golf team, shot 73 for 208 and tied for second with Frank McAuliffe, a senior and a PGA teaching professional at Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville who closed with a 3-under 69.
Bradley Smithson, a Michigan State University golfer from Grand Rapids and the 2021 Michigan Open winner, was fourth after a 73 for 209.
The long-hitting White, playing with Breault and Smithson who are also long hitters, started the final round with a three-shot lead on Breault and maintained at least three shots on all pursuers through the day. He made a three-putt bogey on the par 4 No. 4 hole but followed it with an eagle 3 on the par 5 No. 5 hole.
“I hit a 9-iron (second shot) from the rough from 173 (yards) to about a foot and had that for eagle, which was huge,” he said. “I got it to 3-under through 10 holes, then the wind kicked up and there was the threat of the thunderstorm and I hit a few sloppy shots. Fortunately I had the lead and we were able to get it in the house.”
Breault, who was a freshman at EMU when White was a senior and team captain, said he and Smithson started out slow and didn’t put any pressure on White.
“He was hitting it so good, playing so well, we had to go catch him and we didn’t,” he said.
Breault is also invited to the wedding Sunday. White is getting married to Natalie Gervais of Winnipeg, Canada, who he also met when he was a golfer and student at Eastern Michigan.
“It’s a big week for me, for us,” White said and smiled.
McAuliffe ended up the low senior professional, Smithson the low amateur, Mike Anderson of Northville, who shot 72 and tied for fifth was the low senior amateur, and Anci Dy of Traverse City, the Michigan Women’s Amateur champion from earlier this summer who shot a closing 72 and tied for 35th, was the best among the women in the championship.
For final results click HERE
ABOUT BOYNE MOUNTAIN RESORT: Boyne Mountain 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 are offered at the resort.
BOYNE Golf is a collection of ten courses at three resorts The Highlands, Boyne Mountain Resort and the Inn at Bay Harbor located within 15 miles of Petoskey, MI. Beyond the world-class golf, Boyne Golf is centered amid one of America’s most beautiful vacation spots. The scenic Lake Michigan beach towns of Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey are minutes away, and a side trip to Mackinac Island is easily managed. Guests can enjoy award-winning spas, waterfront dining, sandy beaches, watersports, gaming, microbreweries, wineries, hiking, biking, tennis, zip-lining, shopping and more capped by the spectacular northern Michigan sunsets. For more information on BOYNE Golf, visit www.BOYNEgolf.com.