Newlywed Ben Cook leads 99th Michigan PGA Professional Championship
Ben Cook got married Saturday and on Monday with his bride as caddie shot a 6-under 66 at Flint Golf Club in the first round of a honeymoon known as the 99th Michigan PGA Professional Championship.
“I just made a lot of putts, 15-to-20 footers, that was the big thing and I had a good caddie, my lucky charm,” said the 27-year-old teaching professional from Yankee Springs Golf Course in Wayland who recently played in the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.
“It seemed like I didn’t hit it that close, and I chipped horrible on the par 5s, but I made a lot of putts. I made a 30-footer on 11 where it just smashed into the cup. I don’t know how it stayed in there.”
Cook had a two-shot lead on defending and five-time champion Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy and Tim Pearce of Birmingham Country Club.
Adam Schumacher of Point O’Woods in Benton Harbor and Jeff Caminiti of Maple Hill in Wyoming each shot 69, and host golf professional Scott Brotebeck shot 70 along with Gary Lewandowski of Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes, Chad Kurmel of the Spartan Golf Academy in East Lansing, Ben Proben of Western Golf & Country Club in Redford Township and Denis Husse of Tyrone Hills in nearby Fenton.
The field of 128 plays 18 more holes Tuesday before a 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties for Wednesday’s final round in the 54-hole $54,000 state championship for Michigan PGA section members.
Cook, who played in the morning with most of the others near the top of the leaderboard, married Miah Hagy, a nurse from Bath, and she was on caddie duty primarily holding flagsticks in the first round.
Cook had seven birdies and one bogey with a 4-under 32 on the front nine. “The greens were rolling great,” he said. “We had an early tee time so they weren’t marked up and there wasn’t any wind.”