Pinckney’s Otto Black back to defend Tournament of Champions title

BOYNE FALLS – Otto Black remembers playing fearlessly a year ago, and he figures to go with that same plan again when he defends his title in the 30th Tournament of Champions starting Monday at Boyne Mountain Resort.

The Mackenzie-PGA Tour Canada professional from Pinckney shot a final 9-under 63 on the Alpine course a year ago to win and set a tournament scoring record of 17-under 199 in the unique championship that brings together Michigan championship-winning juniors, seniors, professionals, and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. The professionals in the field will play for a $65,000 purse.

“I always enjoy this event and look forward to coming back to play in it every year,” he said. “The golf courses are in good shape and I really like all the Boyne golf facilities, and this event brings all kinds of competitors together. You are playing against so many great players, pros, amateurs. It’s fun and something really different to have all those people in one field.”

Black, 28 and holding conditional status in Canada at the moment, heads a powerhouse field of 112 golfers, all who are invited and have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional, and some are on the lists of Michigan’s most decorated golfers in history.

Six-time winner Jeff Roth, who teaches at the BOYNE Golf Academy at The Highlands in Harbor Springs, makes it on many of the lists. He last won in 2019 and is among the 13 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members entered in this year’s championship. He is also among seven golfers who are past Tournament of Champions winners that are in the field.

The Michigan Golf Hall of Famers in the field in addition to Roth include Ken Allard, Brian Cairns, Greg Davies, Randy Erskine, Tom Harding, Scott Hebert, Dave Kendall, Larry Mancour, Jack Seltzer, John Traub, Tom Werkmeister and Bill Zylstra.

The seven past champions, including Black and Roth (2019, ’12, ’08, 1999, ’96 and ’95) are 2017 winner Mike Nagy, 2016 winner Korey Mahoney, 2015 winner Barrett Kelpin, two-time champion Andy Ruthkoski (2013, ’14), 2009 winner Scott Hebert and 1997 winner Tom Harding.

The field also includes Jake Kneen, who earlier this summer won the Hall Financial Michigan Open, his second Open title, 2020 Michigan Open winner Brett White, 2020 Michigan Amateur champion Tyler Copp, 2018 Michigan Amateur champion Beau Breault, 2021 Michigan Open winner Bradley Smithson and 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up Jerry Gunthorpe.

Some top women are in the field as well, including 2019 Michigan Women’s Open champion Anika Dy and her sister, Anci, who recently beat Anika in the final match of the Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship. A woman has won the championship. Stacy Snider, a former Michigan State University star who had turned professional, bested the field in 2003.

“It’s another amazing field with great champions, professional and amateur, college players, mini-tour professionals and several of our top Michigan PGA Section players and Hall of Fame members,” said Justin Phillips, the tournament director for the Michigan Section PGA, which sanctions and administers the unique championship. “It is the 30th year and it remains one of the most unique tournaments in the country at one of the top resorts in the country.”

The field will play the 54-hole stroke play championship on two courses. The Monday round and Wednesday’s final round are on the classic Alpine course, and Tuesday’s round is on The Monument course. A 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties follows the second round.

In addition to a celebration of champions, the tournament is a family affair of champions, too.

Family combinations entered include brothers Ben and Josh Proben, brothers Jeff and Steven Cuzzort, father-son Jack and John Seltzer, father-son Frank and Frank McAuliffe IV, father-son Tom and Parker Jamieson, father-son Gary and Bradley Smithson, father-son Jim and Austin Dieters, father-daughter Tom and Caroline Harding, and the Dy sisters, Anika and Anci,

MEDIA CONTACTS: Connect with media coordinator Greg Johnson at 616-560-8995 or if you plan to cover the championship. For Boyne Mountain and BOYNE Golf information, contact Ken Griffin at or 231-439-4943. Justin Phillips is the tournament director for the Michigan PGA. He can be reached at 517-641-7421 or

SCORING: Live scoring and tee times will be available at

This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Pinckney’s Otto Black back to defend Tournament of Champions title