FLINT – It took a second consecutive win in the Michigan PGA Professional Championship but Kyle Martin finally and humbly admitted he is somebody to be reckoned with in Michigan golf.
“To get one was the first goal, now to have two, even better,” he said after shooting a final 7-under 65 and pulling away to win the 102nd Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club Wednesday.
The 39-year-old head golf professional at Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods finished with a 14-under 202 total, four shots ahead of five-time champion Jeff Roth of BOYNE Golf Academy, who shot a closing 69 for 206.
“So when you get beat, you just kind of take your hat off, shake his hand and move on,” Roth said.
Martin, a Grand Rapids native who has also claimed two Michigan PGA Match Play titles, took home the $7,500 first place check, will have his name inscribed on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy for the second time and will receive an exemption into the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the second consecutive year. He missed the 36-hole cut in the PGA Tour’s visit to Detroit Golf Club earlier this summer by two shots.
“I’m super excited to go back – I wanted another shot at it and now I get it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
He’s also looking forward to another trip to the PGA Professional National Championship (PNC) next April at Fields Ranch in Frisco, Texas, home of the new PGA of America headquarters.
Martin was one of nine golfers who earned spots in the national championship from this week’s championship joining Roth and Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, who are exempt as past national champs. The lowest-scoring 20 golfers in the PNC earn spots in the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club, the 2015 Michigan PGA champion, matched the 65 shot by Martin, and Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club, who shot 70, tied for third Wednesday at 208 and punched their tickets to the PNC.
Chad Kurmel, the assistant men’s golf coach at Michigan State, shot 71 for 209 to round out the top five. Matt Thompson, the head men’s coach at Hillsdale College, shot 68 for 211 and tied with Payne Gniewek of Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids, who shot 72. They are headed to the PNC, too.
The final three PNC spots came in a five-golfer playoff at 212. Scott Brotebeck of Walnut Creek Country Club, who shot 68, Cody Haughton of Red Run Golf Club, who shot 66 to close, and Adam Schumacher, who shot 65, emerged from the playoff with spots in the PNC.
Martin and Roth started the final round Wednesday later than expected because of a 100-minute rain delay, and they started tied at 7-under. They were tied at 9-under through seven holes and then things started happening.
Martin hit his tee shot at the par 3 No. 8 hole for birdie, and after rolling his second shot on the par 5 No. 9 hole, he hit a wedge to one foot for birdie and a two-shot lead.
He had a three-shot lead when he stepped to the tee at No. 12 and promptly hit his tee shot into a tree. Without a swing forward with branches in the way, he hit two shots up the adjacent No. 4 fairway, then hit a wedge from under another tree over green-side trees to 25-feet and made the long putt to save a par.
“I had a chance to maybe flip things on 12 and then he made that great putt to save par and then he made that great chip-in on the 13th,” Roth said. “What can you say? Kyle played some great golf.”
Martin admitted he was concerned at 12.
“It wasn’t a good tee shot (on 12), hit the tree, gets knocked down and I’m trying to take a swing and I can’t because the branches are in the way,” Martin said. “So, I ended up going down four and somehow was able to hit a wedge on that green and make that putt for five. That was a big momentum changer for sure.”
Pearce also made a bid and was 10-under through 13 holes before he made a double-bogey 6 at 14.
“It’s not like I hit a bad shot, it just took a bounce right, then my flop shot came up short,” he said. “That kind of ended my day. I had my chance. Kyle obviously played great.”
SPONSORS: This year’s presenting sponsors were Club Car, Corebridge Financial and Rolex. Supporting partners were Gallagher, the Golf Channel and the PGA Tour. Supporting sponsors were Titleist/Footjoy, Callaway Golf, Nike and TaylorMade.
RESULTS: Click HERE