95th Michigan PGA Professional Championship starts Monday at Egypt Valley Country Club
ADA TOWNSHIP – The 95th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is Monday through Wednesday at Egypt Valley Country Club, and in addition to being a state championship for Michigan golf professionals it serves as the starting point on the road to the PGA Championship of 2017.
Defending champion Dan Urban, the head golf professional at Gull Lake Country Club, heads a field of of 119 professionals in the 54-hole $55,000 championship on the Valley and Ridge courses, as well as the two back nines that make up what is called the Tournament course at Egypt Valley.
The low 10 golfers, besides former PGA Professional national champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club who is exempt from qualification, will have spots in the 2017 PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon next June. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the work at next year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C.
Urban is one of nine former champions in the field including seven-time winner Hebert (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ‘14), three-time winner Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth (1996, 2000, 2013), Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson (2010), Grand Rapids resident Joe Pollack of Greg Norman Collection (2004), Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy in Ypsilanti (1997), Barry Redmond of Boyne Golf Academy (1990), Jack Seltzer of King Par Golf in Flushing (1988) and Randy Erskine, a PGA Life Member from Rochester (1978). Harding, Pollack and Urban each have Egypt Valley ties as former assistant professionals at the club.
Egypt Valley, a 36-hole facility designed by Arthur Hills has been open for 26 years, and is hosting the championship for the second consecutive year. The field will play the Ridge course Monday, the Valley course Tuesday and the Tournament Course for the final round after a 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties.
The PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert, Horton Smith, John Barnum, Marvin Stahl, Randy Erskine, Buddy Whitten and former Egypt Valley professional Lynn Janson.
Egypt Valley has a rich tournament history in just 26 years, including being host of a Champions Tour (then Senior PGA Tour) event from 1994 to 2003. Winners at Egypt Valley included Tony Jacklin, David Stockton, Gil Morgan, George Archer, Larry Nelson and Jim Thorpe.
The club also hosted the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, which was won by Jim Liu, and included in the field current PGA Tour standouts Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Egypt Valley also hosted the Michigan Amateur Championship in 1994 and will again in 2017. The 1994 Amateur was won by Brian Atkinson of Cassopolis, then a University of Illinois golfer, who beat Egypt Valley member Kurt Hassberger in the championship match. The Michigan Women’s Amateur has been played at the club twice (1996 and 2007). Then EVCC member Stacy Slobodnik (Stoll), who is now the head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University, won in 1996, and Laura Bavaird of Grosse Ile won in 2007.
The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, Nike Golf, TaylorMade-adidas, Ashworth Golf and the PGA Tour. Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA will be the tournament director.
See www.michiganpgagolf.com for more information, live scoring during the tournament and tee times. Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free. More information on Egypt Valley is available at www.egyptvalley.com.
via Greg Johnson