In thrilling fashion, Scott Hebert, PGA professional from Traverse City Golf & Country Club, wins the Yamaha Golf Cars Plus Senior Open. It came down to the final few holes with some familiar players atop the leaderboard. Scott, who is a very decorated tournament winner, can finally cross Bedford Valley off the list.
After a strong first round Hebert found himself in the final group one off the lead of past champions Jay Jurecic, and Amateur Steve Maddalena, who both shot a 4-under 68 to lead the tournament by 1 going into the final round.
Scott’s game plan going into round 2 was to keep playing his game. He had a strong first round to put him in a great position for round 2, and knew if he kept the pedal down, he had a chance to win. Scott came out of the gate hot with a birdie on #1, and two good par saves on #2 and #3. He went on to hit 14 of the last 15 greens. He missed the green on the Par 3 17th but was able to hole his chip for birdie to take a 4-stroke lead going into the last hole.
Going into the back nine Hebert was tied for the lead with Jurecic at 6-under. He had a pair of birdies on #12 and #13 getting him to 8-under, giving him a three-shot lead after a bogey at #11 from Jurecic to drop him back to 5-under. Scott finished out strong with a bogey free 66 to seal the victory and the low round of the tournament.
Scott is no stranger to winning, as he has won several section events in his years as a Michigan PGA member, including his last victory being the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2016. This is Scott’s 4th year playing in the Senior Open, and finished second place in 2019 and 2021, and tied for 4th in 2022. Hebert says, “he’s been wanting this one badly since he began playing in the event in 2019 and it feels good as he can finally check the box.”
Jay Jurecic finished the tournament at 6-under securing second place. Jeff Roth had himself a strong round 2, making a move up the leaderboard after shooting even par round one, Jeff shot a 4-under, 68, in round two to finish solo 3rd.
In the Super Senior Division, we have a new Champion in Eric Cleasby, an amateur out of Kalamazoo. Cleasby shot a 72 in round 1, making him 1 shot off the lead of Raymond Sebastian, who shot a 71 and tied with Steve Goldstein. Cleasby had the same plan in round 2 as he shot a 72 again, winning the tournament by three strokes.
A field of 111 decorated golfers, including PGA Professionals, top amateurs, eleven Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members and fifteen past champions participated this year.
We would like to thank Yamaha Golf Cars Plus for their title sponsorship. They have been a great partner with the Michigan PGA for the last 9 years, and this is the second time they have sponsored this event. It was nice to have sales reps Jim Atchison on site, and Gary Smithson playing in the event.
A special thanks to host site Bedford Valley Golf Club. They are a 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 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.