Local Sports Journal

BOYNE FALLS — Muskegon golfer Andy Ruthkoski will start play Monday as the defending champion in the 23rd Annual Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.

Ruthkoski, 31, is one of three area players in the tournament which takes the top players from the state men’s, women’s, seniors, professionals, amateurs¬†and juniors and puts them in one tournament. Three sets of tees are used for the tournament.

The other area entries are University of Michigan golfer Reed Hrynewich, of Norton Shores, and University of Wisconsin women’s golfer Aya Johnson, of North Muskegon.

Ruthkoski plays regularly on the mini-tours for professionals. He also qualified for the John Deere Classic recently on the regular Professional Golfers Association tour, but he failed to advance past the first two rounds.

Ruthkoski, Hrynewich and Johnson will be three of the 102 players in the three-day tournament on the Alpine Course at Boyne Mountain Resort. There are 30 amateur players in the field of 102 players.

Starting times for Monday are 8:20 a.m. on the 10th tee for Ruthkoski, 9 a.m. on the 10th tee for Johnson and 1:10 p.m. on the first tee for Hrynewich.

Each player in the field advanced to the tournament by winning a Michigan major golf tournament or state title and then accepting an invitation. The field will be cut to the low 60 scores plus ties after the second round.