HIGHLAND – Kyle Martin made three long putts of 50 feet or more in shooting a 5-under 67 to take the lead Tuesday through two rounds of the 101st Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Prestwick Village Golf Club.
“When you make long putts they change the momentum, and I made three that kept my round going,” said the 38-year-old head golf professional at Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods.
“Other than that I didn’t really do anything special. I just stuck to my game plan and took advantage of my length where it helps and just hit solid shots, which was nice to see.”
Martin, a two-time Michigan PGA Match Play champion, was at 8-under 138 and two shots ahead of Kyle Dobbs of Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton, who shot 68, and first-round leader Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club, who shot 71.
Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club shot 70 to stand in fourth place at 139, and Ron Beurmann, the Michigan Senior PGA Professional Championship winner two weeks ago, shot 67 for 140 and fifth.
John Seltzer of Seltzer Golf School in Grand Rapids, the 2017 champion, who shot 71 for 141, Josh Jeffords of Hills Lenawee Golf Club in Adrian, who shot 70 for 142, and Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, who shot 73 for 143, rounded out the top eight. Five golfers were tied at even-par 144.
The low nine golfers at the end of the tournament besides Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club and Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy, who are already exempt, will play 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.
Tuesday’s 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties fell at 10-over 154 with 61 golfers advancing to Wednesday’s final round in the $54,000 championship. The winner will take home $7,000 and have their name added to the historic Gilbert A. Currie Trophy.
In the championship inside the championship, Caroline Harding of Orchard Lake Country Club won the Michigan PGA Professional Women’s Championship for the second consecutive year.
Harding, 25 and a former Michigan State University golfer, shot a closing 1-over 73 for a 156 total and two-shot win over Kelly Kuhlman, a teaching professional at Twin Lakes and Red Run Country Club who shot a final 77.
The women’s championship was conducted over the first two rounds of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship. The women played a separate set of tees from the men and were part of both competitions.
Martin said Lochmoor has been a busy place and it has limited his golf.
“When I have played, and it has been just some tournament golf, I’ve been hitting it well,” he said. “Tomorrow I will try to go with the same game plan and not do anything different. It the putter is still helping then I have a good chance.”
Martin has won two Michigan PGA Match Play titles and would love to add the section championship to his resume.
“That would be big,” he said.
Martin’s long birdie putt collection included a 60-foot putt on No. 2, a 70-foot putt that dropped on No. 4 and a 50-footer that whistled into the cup on No. 11 for birdie.
“On two of them it was good they hit the hole because they were moving,” he said. “To win tournaments you have to get fortunate or make a few long momentum putts like I did today.”
RESULTS: See michiganpga.com
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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, 616-560-8995, firstname.lastname@example.org