97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship starts Monday at Flint Golf Club
FLINT – The 97th 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 with the best players in the world at the PGA Championship of 2019.
Defending champion John Seltzer III, the head professional at Blythefield Country Club near Grand Rapids, heads the field of 127 professionals in the $54,000 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 tournament. The low nine golfers at the end of the tournament, along with Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club and Jeff Roth of Boyne Highlands Resort who are exempt from qualification, will play in the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C., next April 28 – May 1. 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 Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Eight-time champion Hebert (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’14, ’16) and four-time champion Roth (1998, ’99, 2001, ’03) are two of 13 former Michigan PGA champions in the field, including John Seltzer, the defending champion, 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), two-time winner Barry Redmond of Crooked Tree Golf Club (1990, ‘92), Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club (2015), Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson (2010), Joe Pollack of Golf Cars Plus (2004), Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy (1997), 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 second consecutive year. 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’s staff is headed by General Manager Troy Stieve. Scott Brotebeck is the head PGA Professional and the Superintendent is Jim Moore.
Last year Seltzer, the son of 1988 champion Jack Seltzer, made a two-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole and won the 96th Michigan PGA Professional Championship in storybook fashion. Seltzer, whose story includes working as a bag shop employee at Flint Golf Club during his high school years in nearby Grand Blanc, bested Andrew Dodson of GolfTEC-Novi in the playoff at 7-under 209.
Seltzer and Dodson each shot 3-under 69 to set up the playoff, and then both made 5 on the par 5 No. 18 hole that was used as the first playoff hole. They went to No. 1, another par 5, where both had chip shots near the green for their third shots. Seltzer pitched his from about 45 feet to two feet, and Dodson chipped from heavy rough just left of the green to about eight feet. Dodson’s birdie attempt faded past the hole and Seltzer knocked his in for the win.
The Michigan PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert and Horton Smith.
The 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, TaylorMade, Nike, Golf Channel 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.
SCORING: A link for the 97th Michigan PGA Professional Championship scoring will be on the front page at michiganpgagolf.com
via Greg Johnson