Michigan's Tom Werkmeister fires 67, qualifies for Champions Tour event

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Grandville's Tom Werkmeister has qualified for this week's Champions Tour event.

One Tom made it, one Tom didn't.

Grandville's Tom Werkmeister, who had a decorated amateur career and already is in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, shot a 4-under 67 on Tuesday to earn a spot in this week's Champions Tour event in Snoqualmie, Wash.

Werkmeister used a 33 on his back nine at High Cedars Golf Club in Orting, Wash., to finish in second place in the 24-man qualifier — at which four players earned spots in this week's Boeing Classic.

It will be the second Champions Tour appearance for Werkmeister, who qualified for this summer's U.S. Senior Open, made the cut and finished tied for 52nd.

Werkmeister turned 50 in March, and gave up his amateur status to pursue a career on the Champions Tour. He's a two-time Michigan Amateur champion (2009, 2017), won the Golf Association of Michigan Championship in 2016 and won the Michigan Open in 2013, and he was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Most recently, Werkmeister, who grew up in Warren, finished tied for second in the Michigan Senior Open in July, and tied for ninth in the Michigan Open in June.

He will tee of Friday in the Boeing Classic; his tee time and playing partners haven't yet been announced.

As for the other Tom, Lake Orion's Tom Gillis, he shot a 1-over 72 on Tuesday, three shots out of a playoff for the fourth and final spot up for grabs. Gillis, another Michigan Golf Hall-of-Famer who turned 50 in July, has played in two Champions Tour events, and finished tied for third in both, racking up $250,000.

Gillis now turns his attention to qualifying for next week's Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, before returning home to play in the inaugural Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc from Sept. 14-16. Gillis received a sponsor's exemption into the Ally Challenge, while Werkmeister did not.

Titan takes top spot

Former Detroit Mercy golfer Brendan Leonard won a mini-tour event over the weekend, taking the Circuit Canada Pro Tour's Canada Cup on Sunday in Victoriaville, Quebec.

Leonard finished at 22 under for a three-stroke victory, pocketing the $30,000 first prize.
Leonard shot rounds of 67 and 63 to enter the weekend in great shape, and closed with a 70 and 66. In his final round, he made six birdies and an eagle.

Leonard has five top-five finishes on the mini-tour this year. He also had five top-fives last season, including a victory last September that earned him $7,000.

Leonard, a native of Cambridge, Ontario, played at Detroit Mercy from 2010-14, and was a two-time All-Horizon League player. At Detroit Mercy, he lowered his stroke average each season, finishing with 73.6 as a senior. That ranks sixth in program history, as does his career average of 75.13.