HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, MI – The Bay County Golf Championship is more of a marathon than a sprint.
But it began with a mad dash for Joe Heintskill.
Pulling into the Bay County Golf Course Parking lot just minutes before his 12:20 pm tee time, Heintskill didn’t have a second to spare if he wanted to make a bid for yet another flight title.
“I showed up late and had to run to the tee box,” he said.
But he converted the frantic start into a furious round, sinking five birdies en route to a stellar 71. That gave him a two-round total of 149 that gave him the Second Flight crown – his third flight title in seven years.
Heintskill won the Fourth Flight in 2016 and the Third Flight in 2017, becoming the second player ever to move up a flight and repeat as champion. He’s thought to be the first player to win three different flights since the tourney moved to Bay County Golf Course in 1968.
His biggest shot may have been a par putt on No. 18 on Saturday. If he would have missed it, his tee time would have been eight minutes earlier Sunday and he would not have made it – even with his mad dash.
“I had to run to the car and change out of my sandals,” he said. “My buddy drove me up to the first tee, I put my clubs on the ground, grabbed my driver and hit the ball.”
His first shot went wayward, but he recovered for a bogey. Then he caught four with four front-nine birdies for a 33 on the way out.
“I shanked by drive on No. 1 and I was thinking ‘This is going to be a rough one, scrambling from the start,’” he said. “But I got time to catch my breath on No. 2. I hit a good drive and that kind of got me going.”
With wife Stephanie and kids Charlotte, Sadie, Tatum and Beckham forming part of gallery, the 34-year-old lab manager at EA Inc. erased a four-stroke deficit with the round of the day.
Heintskill finished with a two-stroke win over first-round leader Jacob Denham, who finished at 151. Denham’s was a hard-luck story after he was stung by a 10 on the par-5 No. 14 holes. He was 7-over for the tourney, with five of those strokes on one hole.
Five-time Championship Flight winner Tom Rezler tied Eric Drzewicki for third place at 154 while Louis Beck was fifth at 155 and Doug Adams sixth at 156.
98th BAY COUNTY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Joe Heintskill 78-71 — 149
Jacob Denham 74-77 — 151
Tom Rezler 76-78 — 154
Eric Drzewicki 77-77 — 154
Louis Beck 81-74 — 155
Doug Adams 80-76 — 156
Corey Sajdak 82-74 — 156
Bo Hurley 78-80 — 158
Craig Laskey 79-79 — 158
Ty Coquillard 78-83 — 161
Terry Horner 80-81 — 161
Matthew Parrent 82-79 — 161
Ryan Wall 81-82 — 163
Garrett Forgash 81-83 — 164
Craig Montcalm 88-77 — 165
Ryan Gregg 83-84 — 167
Matt Wall 79-89 — 168
Jeff Atkinson 84-84 — 168
Caleb Sundblad 88-83 — 171
Chip Arrington 81-91 — 172
Daniel Bublitz 92-87 — 179
Matt Meyer 94-88 — 182
Austin Russell 96-86 — 182
Stephon Drzewicki 91-92 — 183
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Emmett Kelly won the first championship 100 years ago
Greatest champions in Bay County history 1922-2016