2018 Medal Play
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Donnie Trosper found fun in golf again on a hometown course and rolled to a seven-shot win in the 2018 Michigan Publinx Medal Play Championship Sunday.
“I just let it go and had some fun,” the 21-year-old former AJGA All-American said after shooting a 7-under 27-hole round for a 54-hole final tournament score of 13-under 203 at Pheasant Run Golf Club.
“I played a lot here when I was like 14, 15, but never really figured out the greens before. The last two days, I made some putts. I still feel like I left some out there, but I played well and scored well.”
Trosper, who is transferring from the University of Central Florida golf program to play his senior season elsewhere, finished seven shots ahead of defending champion Connor Jones, who shot a closing 27-hole 105 for 6-under 210.
Jones, who just finished his senior season at Oakland University, won the prestigious Horton Smith Invitational at Detroit Golf Club a week ago.
Justin LaFrance, a Loyola University of Chicago golfer, finished third at 211 with a 107. Austin Peay golfer Michael Busse, Wayne State golfer Grant Haefner and Joshua Shaw tied at 213.
In the Senior Publinx Medal Play Championship division Bob Papp of Grosse Ile won his first senior title with a closing 105 for a 9-under 207, three shots better than Thomas Magyar, who also closed with a 105.
Jeff DePew was third at 217, and Kevin Klemet and James Rowe were next at 218. Frank Comito and defending champion Bill Zylstra tied at 222.
Trosper’s win was his first since taking a college event last fall for UCF in Connecticut. He said this year he was not getting along with his coach.
“I’m transferring from UCF (University of Central Florida) because I wasn’t happy there in what had become a negative environment,” he said. “I want to be closer to home and in a positive place for my final year. I’ve asked for my release from UCF and it should happen soon. Then I know I’m going to talk to Michigan State.”
Trosper had a two-shot lead on three golfers when the final day started, and then shot even-par on the first nine he played.
“I thought it might be a grind day, but then I started making some birdies,” he said. “I wanted to keep the pedal down, stay in it and win while having fun. I didn’t light it up, but it felt great to be playing and feeling positive again with golf. It’s been a while since I had this much fun on the golf course.”
Papp, 51 and a manufacturer’s representative in the electronics industry, said it has been 25 years since he played so well.
“I played real solid,” he said. “My iron game was probably as good as it has been since I played in college. I just played the golf course the way it was supposed to be played. I played away from the pins I should and managed my game perfectly.”
Papp, a Western Golf Association director, finished fourth a year ago in his first senior Publinx Medal Play Championship.
“I felt like I had left a lot on the course, too,” he said. “This year I came in playing really well. I thought I had a chance to win it. I surprised myself. I didn’t think I would shoot 9-under. That’s pretty good for an old man. I’m pleased with that.”
Magyar, who started the day three shots behind Papp and in second place, kept the pressure on, Papp said.
“He played fantastic and pushed me to the limit,” he said. “I sucked it up. I played great to finish. I had three birdies on the last five holes and I feel fantastic about that.”