PUERTO RICO – It was a make-or-break scenario for Mt. Pleasant and Michigan State University alum Ryan Brehm ahead of his 68th PGA start at the Puerto Rico Open over the weekend.
For his lone start on a minor medical exemption after testing positive for COVID-19 in last year’s Zurich Classic, Brehm needed to win the tournament or finish in solo second place.
Brehm started fast with a birdie on the par-4 first and added another on the par-5 fifth. He ran off three straight on the par-4 ninth and 10th and par-3 11th and parred the final seven.
He dominated the weekend, going nearly wire-to-wire, shooting a 66, 67, 68 and 67 in four rounds of play. He finished at 20-under-par, cruising to a six-stroke win over Max McGreevy.
With his wife and caddie Chelsey by his side, Brehm sank his final putt on the 18th green to secure the win at the Puerto Rico Open for his first ever PGA Tour win.
“That’s just a great feeling walking up the fairway and knowing you’re going to win, it’s pretty awesome. So that’s when it hit me. And I think, you know, after Chelsey put the flag back in, we just hugged each other and said, ‘Wow, what just happened?’ It was win or go home for us last week,” said Brehm. “[The support from] everybody from the Michigan State community to the Mt. Pleasant community and beyond has been powerful.”
The Brehms also became the first husband-wife caddie team to win since Justine and Patrick Reed in the 2013 Wyndham Championship.
The win also garnered a two-year extension of his PGA Tour card for the 35-year-old Traverse City resident and earned him a spot next week in the Players Championship.
A two-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, Brehm’s best previous finish on the PGA Tour happened to come at last year’s Puerto Rico Open, where he tied for 11th.
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