Hebert Charges to Share Lead with Seltzer at 95th Michigan PGA Professional Championship
ADA TOWNSHIP – Seven-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club charged and John Seltzer of nearby Blythefield Country Club held steady.
They shared the lead through two rounds of the 54-hole, $55,000 Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Egypt Valley Country Club Tuesday.
Hebert shot 6-under 66, and Seltzer 69 to each land at 9-under 135.
Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club matched Hebert’s 66 and was one shot back at 136.
Chad Kurmel of the Spartan Academy in East Lansing, the 2012 South Florida PGA Professional Champion who moved to Michigan two years ago, shot 67 for 137.
Kyle Martin of the Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, who grew up in the Grand Rapids area playing golf at Egypt Valley, shot 71 for 138.
Travis Dodson of Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville shot 71 for 140,
And three-time champion Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, and 2004 champion Joe Pollack of Yamaha Golf Cars Plus in Plainwell each shot 72 for 141.
The field of 119 was cut to 61 golfers after Tuesday’s round on the Valley course. The cut fell at 8-over 152. The final round Wednesday will tee off Nos. 1 and 10 with the leaders and final group of three golfers going off No. 1 at 9:21 a.m.
The final round is on what is called the Tournament Course, which is the back nine of the Ridge and Valley courses.
“It will be fun to be in the final group, and obviously Scott is the guy who knows how to get it done,” said Seltzer, the 2009 Michigan Match Play champion. “I’m going to put my head down and go for it. Competitive golf is really my hobby and it doesn’t get better than playing for our (Michigan PGA Section) championship.”
There is a lot to play for in the final round. The low 10 golfers, besides Hebert, a former PGA Professional national champion and exempt from having to qualify, will earn 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.
Hebert, 47, said he has had two good rounds at Egypt Valley with his ball-striking, but sour putting.
“I didn’t really miss any, but I didn’t make any either,” he said. “I’m hitting it well though. I missed two greens each day, so playing nice. I just have to keep hitting it as close as I can and get a few to go in. I’m in the mix.”
His 66 included three consecutive birdies at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, as well as birdies at 8, 15 and 17.
“I hit two good woods to get to No. 8 (par 5) with about a 20-footer for eagle,” he said. “That could have been big. I got the birdie. That was about the only thing dramatic. I just hit it well. Hope to keep it going.”
Seltzer, 37, said he had a good back nine (33), his first nine for the day, but stalled coming in on the front nine.
“I made a couple of bogeys with bad tee shots, but had a nice birdie on 9 to get back tied for the lead,” he said. “I’m in the last group and that’s where you want to be. I’m excited to try and win a golf tournament. That is something we are all trying to do out here.”
Fryer, 41, said his 66 was mistake free.
“No stress,” he said. “I missed a couple of greens, but left it in spots where they were easy up and ins. I’m not hitting it like an all-star, just hitting it pretty good and not making any mistakes. I’ve been playing well all year, and it finally is coming together.”
Fryer said he talked with his friend, former PGA Tour player Doug LaBelle of Mount Pleasant, on the phone after Monday’s round.
“He gave me some tour wisdom,” he said. “He told me to go and play my own game and not worry about the guys bombing it past me. Just hit it in the fairway and play boring golf. That’s what I do.”
RESULTS: Complete scores can be found at michiganpgagolf.com
via Greg Johnson