96th Michigan PGA Professional Championship starts Monday at Flint Golf Club
FLINT – The 96th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is Monday through Wednesday at Flint Golf Club, and in addition to being a state championship for Michigan golf professionals it serves as the starting point on the road to major championship golf.
Eight-time champion and the defending champion Scott Hebert, the head golf professional at Traverse City Golf & Country Club, heads the field of 132 professionals in the $54,400 championship on the storied Flint Golf Club course designed by famed architect Willie Park Jr.
A cut will be made to the low 60 scorers and ties after Tuesday’s second round in the 54-hole championship. The low 10 golfers at the end of the tournament, along with Hebert and Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club who are exempt from qualification, will play in the 2018 PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, Calif., next June 17-20. The low 20 finishers from that national event move on to play with the best players in the world at next year’s PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis., Mo.
Hebert (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’14, ’16) is one of 11 former Michigan PGA champions in the field, including 2015 champion Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club, three-time winner Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center (1996, 2000, 2013), two-time winner Steve Brady of Oakland Hills Country Club (1993, ’95), Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson (2010), Joe Pollack of Golf Cars Plus (2004), Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy (1997), Barry Redmond of Crooked Tree Golf Club (1990), Jack Seltzer of Jack Seltzer Golf Academy (1988), John Traub of Berkley (1984) and Randy Erskine of Rochester (1978).
Flint Golf Club dates to 1910 as a social club, and the course was opened in 1919. Park, a two-time British Open champion turned designer, fashioned a parkland golf course that has stayed true to its roots over the years. It can play as long as 6,671 yards at par 72. Somewhat unique to the Park design are five par-3 and five par 5 holes.
Flint Golf Club is hosting the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for the first time. It has been a regular host to Golf Association of Michigan tournaments over the years, including the 2001 Michigan Amateur Championship, and it has also hosted golf legends. Sam Snead set the course record in June 1963 shooting a 61. Flint Golf Club also hosted the PGA Carling Open in 1957 won by Paul Harney.
Flint Golf Club’s staff is headed by General Manager Troy Stieve. Scott Brotebeck is the head PGA Professional and the Superintendent is Jim Moore.
Last year Hebert made state golf history in a rain-shortened tournament when the former PGA Professional National Champion (2008) made a 12-foot par-saving putt on the first playoff hole against John Seltzer of Blythefield Country Club and won at Egypt Valley Country Club near Grand Rapids.
Hebert’s eighth Michigan PGA Professional win put him just one short of the all-time record of nine set by Michigan legend Al Watrous, and last year’s win also was his 15th major Michigan PGA title, which tied him with Watrous and J.R. Roth for the most wins all-time. Hebert’s eight PGA Professional titles go with six Michigan Open titles and a Tournament of Champions title.
The Michigan PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert and Horton Smith.
The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, TaylorMade-adidas, Golf Advisor and the PGA Tour.
See michiganpgagolf.com for more information, live scoring during the tournament and tee times. Gallery is welcome. Parking and admission are free. More information on Flint Golf Club is available at flintgolfclub.com.