By Ron Gaines, Golfweek.com
MUSKEGON, Mich. – Tom Werkmeister, a 45-year-old internet salesman from Kentwood, Mich., won the coveted Chuck Kocsis Trophy as medalist during the 102nd Michigan Amateur at Muskegon Country Club.
Carding consecutive rounds of 70 for a 4-under total of 140, Werkmeister was able to hold off Otto Black, a University of Toledo player who shot 74-69—143.
Werkmeister, one of those players who has seemingly been around forever, is the odds-on favorite to win the 102nd edition of the Michigan Amateur.
“I’ve never been medalist;” Werkmeister said, “close second or third. It’s been a goal to be medalist.”
With one eagle, five birdies and 3 bogeys in his first two rounds, Werkmeister takes the No. 1 seed for the start of match play.
In his first match, Werkmeister will face Carson Castellani of East Lansing. The number 64 seed, Castellani took the final spot in a three-way playoff that went seven holes.
“I got a nice little run going,” said Werkmeister, who won the Michigan Open last week. “I’m not taking anything for granted. It’s an equal game tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy, I’m sure of that.”
Werkmeister should be even better equipped to succeed at the Michigan Amateur after his impressive win last week at the Michigan Open. For his past six-rounds, Werkmeister has either been tied or ahead of the state’s best amateur and professional competition.
“I got a little momentum going I guess,” Werkmeister said. “I’ve got my game in control, especially my irons. And the putter has been really solid the last two weeks. I’ve got to keep that going.”
The green contours make putting difficult at Muskegon Country Club, which was designed in 1908 by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross.
While many modern-era golf courses often call for a high, soft shot onto a specific section of the green, Ross designed Muskegon forcing the most skilled player to work the ball using the natural contour of the land.
Ross excelled at creating strategic challenges while retaining the natural beauty.
“He designed Muskegon up on a hill overlooking Muskegon Lake,” said Dick Topp, President of the Golf Association of Michigan. Bradley S. Klein, Golfweek architectural editor, calls Muskegon CC, “one of the most underrated Donald Ross courses in America.”