HIGHLAND – Kyle Martin, the head golf professional at Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, had some good fortune but also withstood a long rain delay and made some critical shots under pressure in winning the 101st Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Prestwick Village Golf Club Wednesday.
“I did have some good fortune and I didn’t have my best stuff by any means, but when it counted I produced shots,” said the 38-year-old Grand Rapids native, who shot a final even-par 72 for an 8-under 208 total. “I hit it solid on the back nine and with the rain delay it was nice to just go back out and get it done.”
Kyle Dobbs of Oak Pointe Country Club charged with a 71, including an eagle-birdie combination at holes 14 and 15, and finished second at 209.
Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club shot 71 for 211 and third. Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club closed with a 74 for 212, and Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, the recent Michigan PGA Senior Championship winner, rounded out the top five with a 74 for 214.
Martin won $7,000, will have his name inscribed on the historic Gilbert A. Currie Trophy and will be awarded a sponsor’s exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.
“There will probably be a party for that, the (Lochmoor) members will enjoy me getting in the Rocket Mortgage and I’m really looking forward to playing in a tour event,” he said. “I haven’t done that before.”
Martin, who has won two Michigan PGA Match Play titles, said winning the section championship in stroke play meant a lot to him as a competitive golfer.
“It gets that monkey off my back that I can do more than match play,” he said. “I can do both and then there’s the names on that trophy. There are some big names and to be in that same company is awesome.”
The 54-hole championship also served as the starting point and qualifier on the road to major championship golf. The low nine golfers besides Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club and Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy, who are already exempt, earned a spot in the 2023 PGA Professional National Championship next April at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Pueblo Golf Clubs in New Mexico. The low 20 finishers from that championship move on to play with the best players in the world at the 105th PGA Championship in May at Oak Hills Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y.
Joining Hebert, Roth, Martin, Dobbs, Fryer, Pearce and Beurmann in New Mexico will be Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club, Josh Jeffords of Hills of Lenawee Golf Club in Adrian, George Bowman of Oakhurst Golf & Country Club in Clarkston and John Seltzer of Seltzer Golf School in Grand Rapids.
Urban, who shot 72, and Jeffords who shot 74, tied at 216, and Bowman, who shot 71, and Seltzer, who shot 76, tied at 217.
Martin had a four-shot lead on Dobbs and Fryer through 13 holes following birdies at No. 8 with a holed sand shot, at 11 with a 60-foot birdie putt and 13 with a one-foot birdie putt.
Within two holes however, the lead on Dobbs was one. Dobbs drove the green and made a 20-foot putt for eagle-2 on the short par 4 14th, and then just missed an eagle putt on the par 5 15th and made birdie while Martin made consecutive pars.
After the rain delay Martin saved par at 16, bogeyed 17 from the sand and parred 18 for the win. Dobbs bogeyed 16, saved par at 17 and missed a final birdie attempt at 18.
“Kyle had some shots go in from across the green, and he hit some close, and that’s tough to catch,” said Dobbs who was battling a sore left hand. “I got in some trouble with a few shots where my hand wouldn’t close on the grip, but it was a good fight. Kyle is a good player. I was (in the section) last year but I’m still putting names with faces. That was the first time I played with Kyle and I’m seeing there are a lot of good players out here.”
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SPONSORS: The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and Cadillac with supporting sponsors Nike, TaylorMade, Titleist/Footjoy,Callaway, the Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.