Once again in exciting fashion, we have a first time Michigan PGA Senior Open champion in Greg Zeller from Jackson, MI. It came down to the wire with some familiar names at the top of the leaderboard for the amateur from Jackson to become the new champion at Bedford Valley Golf Club.
Heading into the final round of this two day championship Greg found himself 2 shots off the lead held by a tie with Scott Hebert, PGA Professional from Traverse City Country Club, and Razmig Boghikian, an amateur out of Novi, Michigan. Both shot a 4-under 68 to lead the tournament by 2 going into the final round.
Greg did not have much in mind going into Round 2 of the tournament except for keep ball striking his way around the golf course after hitting 16 out of 18 Greens in Regulation on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Greg had 2 three putts on the day but with how well he performed from tee to green he made putts when he needed too which got him to a good spot at 2-under par going into the final round. Greg started off Day 2 with a very hot start birdieing #1, #2, #4, #5, and #7. Greg also mentioned a very unfortunate bogey on Hole #6 when he lipped out from a tap in after reaching over another player’s ball to hit it in, but forgot about it quickly and birdied #7.
Coming down the back nine, Greg went on to birdie hole #11 to give it back with a bogey on #12. Greg credits this victory on how well he stayed together coming down the stretch on holes #15, #16, #17 while making some key up and downs, highlighted by an incredible par save on #17 after hitting it into the trees and having 40 yards left into the green on the par 3, but he gutted it out and stuck it to 4 feet and sunk the putt for the save heading into the final hole of the tournament.
Greg is no stranger to tournament golf after playing at a collegiate level at Greenville University and also playing in several GAM events and tournaments locally near Jackson, Mi. Zeller also plays in a lot of events in the U.S. Amateur Tour and plenty of Pro-Am’s with his close friend Eric Terrian. When asked about other victories he said this is the biggest one. He also won the GAM Four-Ball a couple years ago at Prestwick Village and also the Mid-Amateur. Zeller said he loves this course and this tournament as he has played in the event around 6 or 7 times and enjoys it every year. He has also qualified for the Michigan Amateur twice here at Bedford Valley Golf Club. States that this is now his favorite golf course in Michigan.
Greg Zeller, is a lifelong resident of Jackson, Michigan and lives right by the 5th tee of Cascades Golf Course where he plays almost all of his golf. Greg until just recently was the Head Golf Coach for Jackson High School. He recently just stepped down to hopefully do some more traveling with his wife, and also play in some more tournaments. Greg played both college golf and basketball at Greenville University, in Illinois.
Trying to chase down the leaders, Gregory Davies, an amateur out of West Bloomfield, shot 74 on the first day of the tournament and came back the second day to fire the low round of the day with a 66 to get him to 4-under for the tournament. Davies, minutes before an hour of weather delay due to thunderstorms, missed about a 4 foot putt for par which would have had him at 5-under for the tournament and an eventual tie for the lead to push a playoff. Gregory Davies finished the tournament an impressive T-2nd at 4-under par for the tournament.
Another player trying to get to the top of the pack was Steve Maddalena. Steve won this tournament back in 2020 and is also a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Steve started Day 2 after shooting a very solid score of 2-under par on the first day of the tournament. Steve battled hard the whole day posting a 1-under par 35 to get him to 3-under for the tournament. Coming down the stretch on 16, 17, and 18, Maddalena had a solid par on 16 and a birdie on 17 to get him to 5-under for the tournament which would have tied him for the lead but a missed 3 foot putt for par on the 18th hole which sealed the deal for Zeller. Maddalena and Zeller have been longtime friends since middle school and have been battling it out in local tournaments in the Jackson area for a long time. Maddalena finished T-2nd at 4-under par for the tournament.
Also finishing T-2nd at 4-under for the tournament was Jay Jurecic, a professional and past champion out of Crystal Falls, Mi, and Jeff Roth, a professional and past champion representing Boyne Golf Academy. Finishing in solo 3rd and tying for the low round of the day with a 66 6-under par on Day 2 was Doug Hoey, an amateur from West Olive, Mi. Hoey finished 3-under par for the tournament.
In our Super Senior Divison, we also had a new champion in James Hegarty, an amateur out of Grand Rapids, Mi. Hegarty shot 73 on Day 1 to trail Raymond Sebastian, an amateur out of Coldwater, Mi, by 1 heading into Day 2. Hegarty fired an impressive 2-under par 70 on Day 2 to beat Raymond Sebastian by 2 strokes after Sebastian shot 73 on Day 2.
A field of 110 decorated golfers, including PGA Professionals, top amateurs, eleven Michigan
Golf Hall of Fame members and fifteen past champions, participated this year in this Yamaha Golf Cars Plus Senior Open at Bedford Valley Golf Club.
We would like to thank Yamaha Golf Cars Plus for their title sponsorship of this year’s Michigan Senior Open. Yamaha Golf Cars Plus has been a great partner with the Michigan PGA for the last 8 years but this is the first time they have been the sponsor of this event. It was nice to have their representatives Jim Atchison on site and Gary Smithson playing in the championship.
Bedford Valley Golf Club is part of the Gull Lake View collection of six courses near Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, including the new Stoatin Brae course. Bedford Valley was a 2008-2009 Best Places to Play selection by Golf Digest and in 2010 was named the Michigan Golf Course of the Year by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association.
It was designed in 1965 by William Mitchell and purchased by the Scott Family of Gull Lake View in 1988. The classic parkland design is known locally as “The Big Course” and features big greens, bunkers and fairways lined with large oak trees. Bedford Valley has hosted several of the state’s top tournaments including the Michigan Open,multiple Michigan Senior Opens, the Michigan Maxfli PGA Junior, the Michigan Publinx State Match Play and the NCAA Division III National Championship.
For complete results click HERE