Birdies, Bogeys, Winners and Losers, the 2021 Michigan Open

The 104th playing of the Michigan Open happened this week on Monday-Thursday on The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. 

Last year’s winner, Brett White was back to defend his title. Battling it out against 100+ of the best golfers Michigan has to offer. 

Brett White, 2020 Michigan Open Champ

The four day event began with a bang, as Michigan State golfer Brad Smithson (amateur) shot an opening round 66 to sit atop the leaderboard. Closely behind him was Patrick Wilkes-Krier and James Holley.

Brad Smithson

Donnie Trosper had a very disappointing opening round 76, leaving him 10 back. Attempting to still make a run on the leaderboard, Donnie spent 3 hours on the range post round 1. Two and half hours in, Donnie was more lost than when he started. But an emergency meeting with his swing coach got him right back on track and confident going into day two.

Brad dazzled again in round two, firing a 67. Putting him at -11 for the tournament through 2 days. Patrick also fired a 67 keeping him right in the hunt.

Donnie bounced back with a 69 while hitting 15 greens. His only bogey of the came on his final hole of the day (hole 9) and was a three putt bogey. 

After a 1 under round 3 for Brad he held a slim one shot lead over Wilkes-Krier (posted a 67 round three). Donnie shot another 69 to put him at -2 for the championship.

Patrick Wilkes-Krier

Donnie came out firing in round four. Finding himself -5 through 10 holes. After a chip in for par on 13 and an up and down on 14 from 50 yards, Donnie remained -5 through 16 holes. He finished birdie, birdie at shot a bogey free 65, (lowest round of anyone in the tournament) putting him in solo third.

Donnie Trosper and caddie Brian Oldani

Meanwhile, Brad had let his lead slip and Wilkes-Krier was now leading the Open. Patrick had opened the lead up to two strokes entering the 72nd hole of the tournament.

Brad wasn’t done yet as he birdied 18, and a Patrick bogey was a two shot swing, forcing a playoff.

Carting back to replay the daunting 18th hole, the crowd grew around the 18th green to around 100 people awaiting a thrilling end.

Brad missed the green with his approach, slightly left. While Patrick stuck his approach shot to 2 ½ feet for birdie. Brad still wasn’t done and chipped in for birdie to force another playoff hole.

The two carted over to the 16th hole. After a bad tee shot Patrick had to lay up just short of the green hoping to make an up and down. Brad put his approach shot to 15 feet for a good look at birdie.

After a poor chip shot, and a missed putt the tournament was all but over for Wilkes-Krier. Brad however didn’t two putt for par, he rolled in the birdie and celebrated the victory by hugging his dad.

Brad Smithson hoisting the trophy after winning the Michigan Open

It was quite a finish and a very cool tournament to be a part of. Looking forward to next year.

Final Leaderboard

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