Monday, August 27, 2012
But that would be a little silly. Still, I can't help but think that by dragging him out of the office a week before the championship to play a little golf on The Bear had to help. Hebert, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa's head professional and director of instruction, talked about how he had been playing poorly, but I watched him make two birdies almost without effort in nine holes from the tips of The Bear.
At the Michigan PGA, Hebert started the day three shots off the lead and shot a final-round 3-under-par 69 on the Katke-Cousins course at Oakland University. It was just one of four rounds under par on the final day, and put him at 8-under-par 208 for the three days, and four shots ahead of Ian Ziska, the head professional at Katke Golf Club at Ferris State University, who closed with a 75.
“It’s nice to be No. 1 among your peers,” Hebert said after collecting a $6,000 first-place check, a crystal trophy and earning another inscription of his name on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy. “To win at this point in my career when I don’t put as much effort on my game feels great. To come out and get to 8-under on two good golf courses is something to be proud of.”
Matthew Zavadil, a teaching professional with the host Oakland University Golf & Learning Center, shot a closing 71 for 214 and a tie for third place with Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy in Ypsilanti.
Hebert, who also has six Michigan Open victories in his career, said he hit his driver well all week, and made critical putts when needed. “I was proud of how I hit it,” he said. “It was nice playing out of the fairway most of the time. That has been my problem all summer, and not to do a commercial, but the new Titleist driver was phenomenal. Plus, I made a lot of four-footers, the kind you have to make when you really need to make them.”
Hebert, as a past PGA Professional National Champion (2008), is exempt for the 2013 club pro national championship. The next 10 golfers earned exemptions, which means Ziska, Harding, Zavadil, Brad Dean, TJ Roberts, Scott Schulte, John Seltzer, Lee Houtteman of Grand Traverse Resort, Kyle Martin of Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods and Matt Pesta of Beacon Hills Golf Club will make the June 23-26 trip to Sun River, Ore., for the national event. Houtteman, Martin and Pesta won their spots in a four-golfer playoff for three spots. George Bowman of Oakhurst in Clarkston will be the first alternate.
“We’re going to send a strong group to Oregon,” Hebert said. “We’re all proud of our (Michigan PGA) section, and I’m proud to be on top right now.”
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The Michigan PGA Championship generally signifies the end of the competitive season for Michigan's top golf professionals.
Held at Eagle Eye in recent years, the 54-hole competitions starting Monday moves to the celebrated R&S Sharf and Katke-Cousins golf courses at Oakland University. The two courses are hosting the annual championship of the top club and teaching professional players for the first time. The field will split and play a round each on the two courses Monday and Tuesday with Wednesday’s closing round on the Katke-Cousins course. An estimated $46,000 purse is at stake.
Scott Hebert, a five-time champion, will defend his title, and the head professional at Grand Traverse Resort in Acme has great memories of the Oakland University golf facilities. He won the 2008 Michigan Pro-Pro Championship there with Mick DeKorver of Sunnybrook Country Club in Grandville.
Hebert, also a six-time Michigan Open champion, has won five of the last six PGA titles, interrupted in that stretch only by 2010 champion Ron Beurmann of the Country Club of Jackson. He said defending the title he won last year at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath will require the best golf he has played this year.
“I’ve had such a miserable year, but I hit some balls today and it seemed to be getting better,” he said in a statement. “I’m planning to get geared up to play. I would love to win again, obviously.”
Hebert, the Michigan PGA’s Player of the Year from 2006 through 2010, will be joined in the field by 2011 Player of the Year Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth. Cairns, a two-time Michigan PGA champion, played with the world’s top golfers in the recent PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C., after earning a spot with a top 20 finish in the PGA Professional National Championship last year. The top 10 of next week’s Michigan PGA Championship earn spots in the 2013 Professional National Championship (PNC) field, the first step in qualifying for the 2013 PGA Championship. Cairns (pictured above) missed the cut at the PGA Championship the past two years, but he'll tell you just teeing it up in a major is every club pro's dream.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The Legends Tour, the LPGA’s official tour for professionals age 45 and over, will visit the Country Club of Jackson for the sixth annual Wendy’s Charity Challenge presented by Aveeno on Aug. 12-13.
Hosted by Michigan native and Legends Tour President Elaine Crosby, the event will feature a purse of $100,000 and will once again bring LPGA legends to the Great Lakes State. Scheduled to play are Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Rosie Jones, Jan Stephenson and others.
“I played collegiate golf tournaments in Michigan and I traveled with the LPGA Tour for many years to our event in East Lansing, so it will be good to return there with the Legends Tour in August,” said Lopez, a 48-time LPGA tournament winner.
One of eight tournaments on the Legends Tour, this year’s event will feature a Sunday professional tournament with 25 Legends players, followed by a Monday pro-am presented by Coca-Cola that will pair 25 Legends pros with 100 amateurs.
“Our sponsors who participate in the pro-am look forward to coming back each year to play with an LPGA Legend,” said Mark Behm, president of Stanton & Associates, Inc., which own and operate more than 60 Wendy’s restaurants in Michigan. “This is our 12th year hosting a pro-am, so many of our supporters have actually formed friendships with the pros and it’s great to see everyone come together to help the kids. We’re proud of our relationship and tradition with these great Legends of the game.”
The Wendy’s Charity Challenge tournament has raised more than $1.65 million for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption since 1999. Tickets are $10 each day, with kids 17 and under admitted free. All military personnel are also admitted free with a current ID. Advance tickets also may be purchased by visiting www.thelegendstour.com/tickets .
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Let's take a closer look at who's playing well:
MICHIGAN WOMEN'S AMATEUR CHAMP: I met this girl when she was a freshman in high school. I knew then she was a special player. Brighton's Emmie Pietila, who will play at the University of Tennessee this fall, won the 96th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship after defeating Natalie Brehm of Mount Pleasant, 2&1 in the final match-play round at Forest Akers West. Pietila, 18, has been playing in Golf Association of Michigan tournaments since she was 15 years old and almost did not register for this year’s Women’s Amateur because she was going to try and qualify for the Junior PGA Championship in Kentucky.“This was closer and just easier logistically so that is why I ended up registering for this tournament versus the junior qualifier,” said Pietila. “I’m really glad I made that decision.” Both girls come from great golf families.
WEB.COM CHAMP: Doug LaBelle II, also a native of Mount Pleasantwho now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., beat Michael Putnam to capture his second Web.com Tour victory (the first since 2006). LaBelle has bounced back and forth between the PGA Tour and former Nationwide Tour. This $99,000 check moves him among the top 25 money earners on the minor-league tour and has him on track to earn another promotion to the PGA Tour in 2013. LaBelle shot 3-under-par 68 for a one-shot victory at Willow Creek Country Club, setting a Utah Championship record by erasing a five-shot deficit in the final round.
MICHIGAN SENIOR CHAMP: Ron Beurmann shot an impressive 6-under 66 by hitting 17 of 18 greens at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek for a three-shot victory over Bob Ackerman at the Club Car Michigan Senior Open. Beurmann is director of golf at the Country Club of Jackon.