HIGHLAND – Benny Cook won the historic 100th Michigan PGA Professional Championship with four strokes at Prestwick Village Golf Club on Wednesday but said he was never comfortable.
“I won with four shots, it’s never been this close,” he said. “I was dragging out there and it was within two strokes of 14 and it was almost a stroke of 15 and the golf course just got tighter and got a lot tougher as the week went on. Today I mean there were some putts that were super slippery. I putted three times twice and didn’t think I had bad putts. “
Cook, an instructor at Wayland’s Yankee Springs Golf Course, shot a final 1-under 71 for a 10-under 206 and hit Kyle Dobbs of Walnut Creek Country Club with four strokes. Dobbs closed on a 72, barely missed a birdie on the 15th par 5, and then bogeys in 16th and 17th place as Cook made his way through the final holes.
Three golfers were in third place with 211; Chad Kurmel of Forest Akers West at Michigan State University, who shot 70, Christopher Sullivan, a Sun Mountain sales rep, who shot 71, and Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club, who shot 73.
Boyne Golf Academy’s five-time champion Jeff Roth shot 68 for 213 and Treetops Resort’s Kosta Ramirez shot 74 for 214 to round out the seven golfers who finished under par on the firm and fast Prestwick course.
Cook, who will wear his name on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy for the second year in a row, took home the check for first place for $ 7,000 and will receive a sponsorship waiver at the Detroit Golf Club next summer Receive Rocket Mortgage Classic on the PGA Tour.
“Playing The Rocket is going to be cute,” he said. “It’s great to win again. I’m glad I played well. The course was very demanding and I felt like I did everything well. It’s hard to win on every stage. If Kyle makes his (birdie) putt at 15, who knows what will happen? I’m just glad I did some good pars and made it. “
Cook is exempt from the first phase of the Korn Ferry Tour qualification due to his status on the PGA Tour Latino America and his low club professional score at the PGA Championship earlier this year on Kiawah Island, SC. In October he goes into the second stage.
“It sure is a good dynamic,” he said. “Winning a great field on such a tough track helped me improve.”
Dobbs, 46, and a native of Michigan who returned to the state from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to work at Walnut Creek, said his game wasn’t sharp enough to catch Cook.
“I don’t train and play a lot anymore so I just come out and see if I can find it for the week,” he said. “I put a few things together this week even though I wasn’t as keen as I wanted to be. I’ve done (Cook) my best and he’s obviously a really good player. I knew that my mistakes had to be minimal because he doesn’t give anything back. “
The bottom nine golfers in the championship alongside Cook, Scott Hebert from Traverse City Golf & Country Club, Roth, Pearce and Cody Haughton from Red Run Golf Club, who are already exempt, have a place in Omni Barton this coming April at the 2022 PGA Professional National Championship secured Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. The bottom 20 finishers of this National Club Pro Championship will play with the best players in the world at next year’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
Those who secure one of the nine spots; Dobbs, Kurmel, Sullivan, Ramirez, Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook Country Club, Jim Dieters from Midland Country Club, Kyle Martin from Lochmoor Club, Scott Brotebeck from Flint Golf Club and Travis Dodson from Meadowbrook Country Club.
The historic 100th Michigan PGA Professional Championship was presented by Cadillac, ROLEX and Club Car with supporting sponsors Nike, TaylorMade, Titleist / Footjoy, the Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.