Hot Putter Powers Scott Hebert to Victory at the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship
LANSING – Scott Hebert said something happened with the putter, and it resulted in the Traverse City Golf & Country Club professional winning the 2019 Michigan PGA Match Play Championship presented by the PGA Tour Wednesday at Country Club of Lansing.
He made seven birdies in 14 holes and turned back fellow Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth 6 and 4 in the final match.
“I’ve been toying around and toying around with the putter and still putted miserable all year,” he said. “I was out in a practice round on Monday and stuff started working. I stuck with it and I probably putted the best I have in years.”
The 50-year-old Hebert won the Michigan PGA Match Play title for the second time and it marked his all-time leading 18th Michigan PGA Section major championship win. It also wrapped up his eighth Michigan PGA Player of the Year Award pushing him past Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy in the point standings.
He said he enjoyed playing the final match with the 55-year-old Cairns, who is a longtime rival and friend.
“It’s always great to beat the bombers, and we talked about it out there with some of the younger guys hitting shots we disagree with,” he said. “On this course you can only hit it where it allows you to hit it, and BC and I did that. This afternoon, I don’t think BC was 100 percent.”
Cairns admitted fatigue and said Hebert is playing great and he is looking forward to both of them playing in next week’s Senior Professional National Championship in Austin, Texas.
“I couldn’t get to the left with my body the last 11 holes and Scotty was hitting it close and making putts,” he said. “I lost the magic, and he had it. It’s great to see him playing so well.”
Hebert said winning tournaments is what drives him to continue to compete.
“This is what gets me to practice the little bit that I do – to try and win stuff,” he said after accepting the $3,200 first-place check. “It’s nice to win this for the second time. It’s the culmination of a good season that started in May and here we are in September and I’m Player of the Year again. It’s been a good season.”
Hebert, the Northern Chapter champion, advanced to the championship match with a 5 and 4 win over Dan Urban of Gull Lake Country Club, the Western Chapter champion. With the tee moved up at the par 4 No. 13 hole to about 280 yards to tempt strategy, Hebert drove the green and made a 30-foot eagle putt.
Cairns, the Senior Chapter champion, advanced with a 2-up win over Eastern Chapter champion Cody Haughton of Red Run Country Club in Royal Oak. He led most of the match but had to hold off Haughton at the end.
Hebert’s birdie barrage started in a quick-work quarterfinal win over Kyle Wittenbach, the Ferris State University golf coach and the runner-up a year ago. He topped Wittenbach 5 and 4, and then added the 5 and 4 win over Urban and the 6 and 4 win over Cairns.
“It was the putter,” Hebert said. “Going to try and keep it going for next week. I’m fortunate I have two good guys to watch the shop next week so I can go play in the Senior PNC.”
RESULTS: Match play bracket can be found at michiganpgagolf.com