Chad Kurmel leads after first round of Michigan PGA Professional Championship

The Detroit News

Spartan Golf Academy's Chad Kurmel had a hole-in-one Monday and held a one-shot lead after the first round of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club.

The teaching pro shot 7-under 65 to finish one shot ahead of Ben Cook, an assistant professional at Cascade Hills.

Kurmel aced the No. 2 hole, a 168-yard par 3, with a 7-iron. It was the fifth hole-in-one of his golf career, and the third in competition.

“I took advantage of the par 5s, and you have to do that with five of them out there,” said Kurmel, 47, who won the South Florida PGA Professional Championship in 2012 while working in Boca Raton. “I hit solid shots all day really, gave myself a lot of birdie chances and it is nice when a hole-in-one happens during a good round.”

Kurmel had a one-shot lead on Ben Cook, an assistant professional at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids. 

Travis Dodson, an assistant professional at Meadowbrook in Northville, shot 67 to stand third alone, and Jim Dieters, the head professional at Midland Country Club, and Bryan Harris of Forest Akers West, each shot 68. Dodson was the runner-up last year in a sudden-death playoff.

Seven golfers shot 69, including host professional Scott Brotebeck, and three-time champion Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, who also had a hole-in-one Monday. He aced the No. 17 hole with an 8-iron shot at 160 yards. It was the 16th hole-in-one of his golf career.

Also shooting 69 were 2010 champion Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, Donald Devantier of Cracklewood Golf Club in Macomb, Jason Guss of Jason Guss Academy in Bath, Reed Black of Spring Meadows in Linden and Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills in Franklin.

Defending champion John Seltzer of Blythefield near Grand Rapids, and eight-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club were in the crowd at 70.

A cut will be made to the low 60 scorers and ties after Tuesday’s second round in the 54-hole, $54,000 championship.